The Field

Hi people, friends and commoners, we won’t post much on this home page in the next months, we are all busy at the Field, 365 Queens Road, come down and join us to think and make together the Filed a place of commoning!

We will still carry on with the nxc monthly reading and possibly document them in the toolbox page. After the last one on the Exodus collective the next will be on Park Fiction and Isola Art Centre.


visit to the Field and walk with rene and ayreen

We started at The Field 385 Queen’s Road with a discussion on the space itself and on gentrification and and PAH Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (Platform of people Affected by Mortgages) came out as a great example of resistance against gentrification, and at something that as commoners we could look into. There is some great material here: Also, we could meet people in Lambeth similarly organizing around evictions.

We then asked Rene and Ayreen (from 16 beaver, NY), who were in New Cross for the first time, to take us around the neighbourhood. We went to Telegraph Hill and ended up at the self-built houses in Greenstreet Hill where we had a chat with someone living there.

Some of us attended the course on the commons Rene and Ayreen organized throughout the month of March in different location in London like the Common House, nowhere, Mayday Rooms, the idea is to continue with the course, check the website for info:

Hopefully Rene and Ayreen will be back in London soon and we’ll have another walk in New Cross with them. In the meantime we could practice collective walks ourselves, or by inviting other people who don’t know New Cross and could “lead” us. Not just to look at the neighbourhood differently but also to talk to people we could encounter on the way (it might be good to read together Robert Walser’s “The Walk” to get inspired).the field march 2014DSC_2033


New Cross people’s kitchen: what makes us feel at home in New Cross?

“What makes you feel at home in New Cross?”

New Cross People’s Kitchen

Monday 17th of March 6pm – 9pm

At 178 Cafe, 178 New Cross Road, SE14 5AA

The NXPK is for the different people living in New Cross to come together, cook together, eat together, talk together and think how to live a good life together in New Cross.

We use food that would otherwise be thrown away to cook a vegetarian meal to share. This time we want to talk together about what makes us feel at home in New Cross?

The meal is free and children are welcome.

Everybody is invited.

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Each table was dealing with the question “what makes us feel at home in New Cross” and with a specific topic: food, participation, creativity, housing, learning.

As an example here are the questions we used at the “learning” table:

1 What kind of learning makes you feel more at home in New Cross (or the place where you live)? Can you think of examples? It can be learning in schools or university, in the streets of New Cross, or learning by doing, learning without teachers… (examples: the poetry workshop, the new cross commoners, 385 queens road, the people’s kitchen itself)

2 What is your experience of learning in schools and universities, does or did this learning make / made you feel more at home in the place / neighbourhood where you live?

3 Do you have a secret desire related to learning? Learning what, and how? Together with whom? In which context? From what place?

(learning and the commons, knowledge as commons, not private nor public, is there anything we can organize as NXC, for example a visit in the neighbourhood?)

More questions:

Make examples of collective learning in New Cross: what did you learn? What do you learn?

What can we learn outside schools and universities and how?

What are the places for learning in New Cross?

What would make it easier in New Cross to learn from each other?

What do we need to learn in New Cross?

What do you know about homeschooling in New Cross?

What can we learn from each other in New Cross and what for?

How to learn from our experiences of oppression and exploitation?

What would be a rebellious kind of learning in New Cross?

Is there any kind of “minor knowledge” (knowledge that is not professionalized) we could learn from in New Cross?


Learning through the poetry workshop, you don’t just learn about poetry, you talk with other people living in New Cross about everyday problems, but through a poetic register, you don’t learn just the subject matter but something that has to do with the place where we live.

Learning from how musicians pay attention to each other, listen to each other, tune into each other and take care of each other at the jam session of the New Cross Inn. They do that not just among themselves but also with other people who are not musicians and interrupt the session (example of poetry reading as part of a jam session).

In academia students are supposed to compete amongst each other and think about themselves and their success as individual students.

The difficult task of learning to communicate with middle class mothers in New Cross / Telegraph Hill when they talk about their prams and the stuff they buy for their babies.

We are all teachers and learning happens everywhere; we should discuss more the differences amongst each other; we should learn about who owns all the properties and why this is the case.

To learn more about gentrification and find a way to counter it starting from this people’s kitchen.

new cross people’s kitchen 14th of december st james hall


kitchen13kitchen5kitchen23Image Image (2)The New Cross people’s kitchen is not just about bringing different people together and getting to know new allies or participants for our community projects, it is not just a place for community networking and for thinking and organising other projects. It becomes a political space, where people could think, discuss and learn a different way of living and being together, starting from the very micro practice of organizing the people’s kitchen collectively, in all its aspects. Only inasmuch the people’s kitchen itself is a transformative experience it can become a platform for social and political change in the neighbourhood. We shift from the (capitalistic) us-and-them model of serving, entertaining and doing charity, to one of learning from each other, learning to organize together, learning to take care of each other, learning to live our everyday lives by coming together and cooperating (commoning).

Sharing: to facilitate and organise a kind of sharing which is not just one-to-one but collective. Usually time banks are restricted to one to one sharing. We talked about the importance of questioning the opposition between “what do I get” and “what do I give” that often time banks re-enforce. We should think about different questions to be asked, to make sharing something else than a strict “do ut des” (I give you to get something in return). Questions like: what would you like to learn from other people in the neighbourhood? do have any “secret” skill that you rarely have the chance of using? do you have any “hidden” passion that you had to neglect because of your job or for other reasons? do you have anything (a space, a tool or machine) that you don’t use anymore because you don’t have the time, or because it would be too hard for you to use it by yourself? etc.


New Cross People’s Kitchen – 16th November

The New Cross people’s kitchen seeks to create a convivial activity around food, from its collection, to its cooking and eating, in order to get in contact with different people and collectives from the New Cross area. The New Cross people’s kitchen will work by collecting food from local traders who donate it, by cooking and eating collectively in different venues (community kitchens) in our local area.

The people’s kitchen it’s not simply an opportunity to have fun cooking and eating together, but also to meet each other and speak together about issues and topics concerning us as inhabitants of the south-east of London, to fight food poverty without making charity, to create alternative possibilities for people to sustain their lives collectively, to give ourselves tools to fight gentrification and the privatization of the neighbourhood and our lives by planning change collectively and from below.

This is an idea the New Cross Commoners came up with after our mapping project at Party in the Park.

We are organising a first event/dinner for the 16th of November, this will take place in St James community centre, which is attached to St James’ Church (down the road known as St James just opposite New Cross Gate Station, Iceland and New Cross Learning).

We invite anyone who wants to help with the cooking and preparation of the food to turn up at 5pm.

We will start eating around 6pm. 

New Cross Commoners, Assembly, Grow Wild, Transition New Cross, and many more people




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