Recent years have seen the steady creep of gentrification into our UK cities. What do we mean by gentrification? The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as;
“The process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste e.g. ‘an area undergoing rapid gentrification”
Is this process of gentrification inevitable and what does it actually mean for our communities?
Can gentrification be a good thing? You could say it’s improving the look and feel of our towns and neighbourhoods, raising the value of people’s property (if you’re lucky enough to own some) or providing new facilities, shops and, err, cereal cafes…possibly reducing crime rates too. However it’s also well evidenced that the gentrification of neighbourhoods particularly in the bigger cities means those without the means to afford it can no longer buy houses or afford to live in towns they grew up in… key workers like nurses and teachers or artists, who contribute to the culture and feel of cities are being driven out by the impossibility of being able to live, work or find creative space there.
Gentrification as a concept has been documented by economists and the media elite. Now is time for you, the next generation, to share your stories about what’s happening in your community. We are calling all young creatives aged 16-30, whether you are a singer, MC, musician, poet, photographer or film maker to share your response to the topic of ‘Gentrification’ and we will profile your work in our online gallery space.
Check out this video from MOBO award winning artist Soweto Kinch setting the creative brief for ArtsTrain’s first exploration of Gentrification in 2016.
Sharing your work
We are looking for creative responses that demonstrate, document and responds to ‘Gentrification’ and what it means for young people in the UK today. Any artform which we can profile on our online space will be considered. We retain full editorial control and are unlikely to showcase any content which contains explicit, distressing or potentially offensive material. We hope this online space will build a picture of the landscape in the UK today, perhaps a time capsule for future generations. Looks out for our Gentrification commissions coming soon and check out the work below ArtsTrain delivered with young people in SE London over the last 2 years.
To share any of your material please email/ Drop Box/ We Transfer your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any film content (music/spoken word or otherwise) should not be longer than 4 minutes.