A 360˚ oral history project that explores the sanctity of community space.
‘Coldharbour’ is a 360˚ oral history project that explores the history of Coldharbour Lane in Brixton from 1948 to 2018. Coldharbour Lane and the buildings on it carry enormous symbolic relevance for the community: it has been the site of massive post-war migration and famous protests for equality; it is the birthplace of a music culture that inspired popular music around the world; it has been home for famous artists, writers and poets. The stories of people who have lived and worked along Coldharbour Lane tell us much about the social, political and cultural evolution of Britain over the past 70 years, yet they remain largely under-explored.
In partnership with the University of the Arts London, the Lambeth Archives and Brixton Library, the Coldharbour Project is enabling the local community to produce 360˚ films based on oral history testimony that will give this heritage new life.
The Coldharbour Exhibition will be held at the Brixton Library in October 2019.
The Coldharbour Oral History Project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The Coldharbour Project is about community. For the whole of 2019, we offered free workshops, mentoring and production experiences for local people in Brixton to get involved in the project and learn new skills. Workshops were free to attend and covered every aspect of the project development process from research, archiving, recording oral histories and story development to 360 degree filmmaking and exhibition curation.
Having taking part in the free public workshops, some participants elected to be in our community production team to play an active role in making the 360 degree VR experience, and curate the exhibition at the Brixton Library. Production for the 360 degree film started in August 2019 and took place in Brixton Market, the Express Cafe in Market Row, the Reliance Arcade, Windrush Square, Coldharbour Lane, Railton Road (the Frontline), the Dominoes Club and the Sports and Social Club. We have filmed with Alex Wheatle, Steve Martin, Felix Buxton (Basement Jaxx), Ricky Ranking (Nasty Rockers) Lorna G, George Lightfoot (Nasty Rockers), Paul Reid, Linda Bellos, Michael Groce, the Legs Eleven Sound System and the Brixton Immortals Dominoes Team.
Throughout the Coldharbour project we have been running workshops and community events to engage as many people as possible in the process. Take a look at the events we have been running and sign up to join Coldharbour over the next few months.
The Coldharbour Project uses walking tours to open up the heritage in Brixton and allow people to explore the major significance of community spaces. Two walking tours have taken place for the Coldharbour Project and another two will be scheduled for July and August.
The Coldharbour Project has recorded over 30 oral histories with residents, business owners, community leaders, local historians and politicians to develop an archive of untold stories that will be housed at the Lambeth Archives to benefit future researchers. The oral histories will also be made available via a public website. Our intention is to amplify marginalised voices and make way for detailed history of the area that celebrates the diversity and versatility of Brixton’s culture.
Media and Heritage Workshops
A series of over 10 free public workshops in filming oral histories, using 360˚ film and working with archives empowers local people with new skills and enables a wide range of people to take part in the creative development of the Coldharbour Project.