Welcome to the London Architecture Diary, your essential guide to architecture exhibitions and events taking place across the city, brought to you by New London Architecture.
So many of the injustices we, as Black people, experience find their roots in historical land and space inequities. When Black people were regarded as ‘property’, law would state property cannot own property. This simple, dehumanising act has seeped its way into every facet of our current landscape; in everything from who owns land, who is able to access space, what activity is able to happen where, who gets policed, who gets displaced when neighbourhoods are developed, how people navigate the public realm and even who is expected to move out the way on pedestrian streets.
But over the years, Black people have found a number of ways of organising to collectively preserve, protect, amplify and celebrate their spaces. Look at the history of Community Land Trusts, pardnas, The Freedom Farm Cooperative and Ron Finley the Gangster Gardener. It is in this context that we find ourselves mobilising. It is time to invest in bold infrastructure and radical reclamations of our environment. It is time to invest in the Black Land & Spatial Justice Fund.
This fund has been developed to redistribute resources, including finance and knowledge, engaging in decolonial frameworks and collective organising to redefine our relationships to land and space.
The long-term visions of this fund are to:
Make investments in Black-led space-based community ventures Develop programmes for working class children and young people to understand the history of land, reimagine their environments and see themselves as integral to the development of their neighbourhoods Support the fees of Black students within the fields of architecture, urban planning and the Built environment Produce an annual convening of international Black radical thinkers, pragmatists and organisers, to share learnings, amplify work and highlight models and visions centred on land and spatial justice. Create a working group and series of online discussions and workshops for knowledge sharing and community development, widening access to information Support the establishment of a Black co-operative movement, enabling the acquisition of community-owned land and assets in the UK
Your donations might support:
£20: a resource pack and reading materials for people in the community seeking to mobilise £250: equipment or tools for a community-run experiment on a micro-site £500: covering the costs for a research group or digital series of knowledge exchange workshops £1000: administrative costs to establish the Black land co-operative £5000: a micro-investment in a Black-led space-based community venture £6000: a UK-wide travelling ‘Beats, Rhymes & Cities’ programme, where young Black people build a hip-hop responsive city using 3D printing technology, design, poetry and beatmaking, £10,000: supporting the fees or maintenance costs of Black students for one year, within the fields of architecture or urban planning
Thank you for standing with us and for committing actively to justice. Please help us spread this as far and wide as possible.
Together, we can invest in community-rooted, transformative actions, that shift land ownership and narratives from that of individual gain into collaborative mechanisms, shared assets and spaces for joy, healing and liberation.
--- Further reading:>Ron Finley a guerrilla gardener in South Central LA > Origins and Evolution of Community Land Trusts > An introduction to Fannie Lou Hamer and the Freedom Farm Cooperative > Them Ones There on space race justice and culture > The Aesthetics of Equity by Craig L Wilkins > Project Row Houses