A year on from the EU referendum in the UK, something that unites many Londoners (& UK citizens) is a sense of frustration and powerlessness. 2016 indicated more so than ever before the fact that we are growing more and more insular and are exposed to far fewer opinions, perspectives and lived experiences that contrast our own.

At its heart, the Unusual Suspects Festival is an attempt to challenge this. We believe that there is more that connects us than that divides us, and the Unusual Suspects festival is an opportunity for us to break out of our silos and engaged in difficult events and conversations that will help shape our thinking and mindsets.

We’re delighted to announce that we will be a part of the 4th Unusual Suspects Festival, the purpose of which is to bring together all voices in society to craft solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges. Through an unusual mix of voices and audience, we can empower ourselves, challenge each other and ourselves to not only think and act differently and but to shift and change power dynamics in the capital.

Finding Common Ground: Community Research and Action on the Alton Estate

If you are passionate about supporting everyday change-makers and amplifying unheard voices, join us on Thursday 15th June for an afternoon of learning, storytelling and action planning with residents of the Alton Estate. 

The Alton Estate is one of the U.K.’s largest housing estates and is a grade 2 listed English heritage site, which has been positively described as the “embodiment of post-war thinking on new housing”. Like other iconic housing developments from this era, the estate’s history is a rich and complex story of modernist utopian design and the realities of social dynamics, stigma and activism. Over the last 30 years the estate has seen significant changes in landscape, community and services, and will now be undergoing regeneration.

This interactive session, led by local residents, will explore how grassroots, community-led initiatives can use in-depth, participatory research practices to explore the hopes and values that they share, and how these insights can pave the way for collective action in neighbourhoods.

This session is a collaboration between R.O.C.K.S! International Arts (artists using their craftsmanship for empowering social change through innovative and sustainable projects) and The Young Foundation (a research and action based institute with a track record of confronting inequalities), drawing upon our collective experience of community activism & development and ethnographic and participatory research methods.

The session will take place at Roehampton R.O.C.K.S!, a non-profit creative arts space for children, their families and all diverse groups in Roehampton. 

Sign up for the session here.

For more information about the festival and blogs outlining the purpose and inspiration for the festival, see the festival website.