A better Besson Street: the proper consultation 24.07.15

Lewisham council is planning to develop their empty Besson Street site. They will make the decision to go ahead with their profit-making, gentrifying project while many people are still unaware of it. A group of campaigners based at The Field will be going around the neighbourhood to ask what people really think of the plans. Come and join us in being Lewisham’s Consultation Team (Militant Wing).

We’ll meet at The Field on Saturday 24th of July at 2pm.

This is the petition with more info and the possibility to sign it:





next job de-centre tuesday 07.06.16 in The Field’s greenhouse at 6.30

The job de-centre so far has been an event where people think, talk, share experiences about work and unemployment through activities and exercises and not just through discussions. We tried to explore a different perception and understanding of life, not centred on work as the form of life our bodies soak from capitalism. We have been shifting from the production of a critical analysis of our working conditions (so many of us know already how to make that – we saw this every time in the initial round of presentations), to the opening of sensing different possibilities for a life de-centered from work.

So far the job de-centre has been too much a series of events that people join as if they were some kind of cultural service provision, no matter how participatory. What we are trying to do now is to move a bit more away from that culture of provision which is so much a habit for most of us, to one of mutuality, whilst getting more practical at the same time. We just had a “closed” session (closed as in no facebook event and no new facebook-people coming) to experiment with a format based on mutual advice: one person talks about her working, economic, life conditions, blockages and difficulties, skills, desires, aspirations, and the others give suggestions on how to make life more “rich” and worth living by connecting with other groups and people, in new cross and london, by fantasising together about collective uses of someone’s skills and desires (in and outside The Field), by thinking together of possibilities and alternatives that an individual might not be able to think alone.

The aim of the advise session is not to tell others what to do, it is not to sort out people’s lives, it is not to help people finding a job (!). It is also not to carry on mourning about how fucked up the system is at all levels – we kind of know that, and it’s not about organising campaigns either because there are amazing groups that already do this and we can refer each other’s to those groups (some of them are also engaged in The Field). The advice session is about learning how to open up for each other possibilities to enrich our life beyond work, beyond an individually centred life, beyond competitiveness, joining collective resources and collective struggles at The Field, in the neighbourhood and in other parts of the city.

We don’t have recipes for this mutual advice session, we are clumsy and we are learning, but if you are prepared to leave behind the service-provision attitude in order to open up a bit and experiment with mutuality, come and join us.


walk in deptford with chris this saturday 04.06.16 at 2pm

Come and join us on a Listening Walk of the local Deptford area. We will spend some time thinking through a few sites in and around Deptford that we want to listen to: What does community sound like? What does gentrification sound like? What does culture sound like? What does how we live sound like? Maybe we can answer a few of these questions as all go together in an exercise in listening to where we live. We will start at Tidemill working together on a route around the local Deptford area and collectively decide on the sites we should listen too. Then we will walk together in silence around all the chosen sites. On returning to Tidemill we will ask ourselves ‘What did we hear?’ and make a record of our answers.

A Listening Walk, is being led by Chris Jones of 56a Infoshop & Ultra-red.

The sound art collective Ultra-red studies, develops, and tests procedures for collective listening that contribute directly to political struggles. We invite communities to listen to the acoustics of contested spaces, their own and others’ demands and desires, the echoes of historical memories of struggle, and their own self-organizing activities.
A few years ago, rather than asking people simply to listen to what we had made, we began asking, “What did you hear?” The modesty of this query belies the labor of shifting the foundation of Ultra-red’s practice from the terms of music (e.g. aesthetic evaluation and the organization of sound) to those of listening—the relationship between intention and perception. This shift was necessitated in part by the still unsettled correlation between our aesthetic and political interests and orientations.
Rather than ending with representation, we begin with representation. Then, “What did you hear?” The question enters the object into a relationship, an interrogation. When the representation is about to close in on itself, we restate the question or displace one object with another. As a second consequence of asking “What did you hear?” we situate our sound practice in relation to specific constituencies, locations, conditions and concerns. Most importantly, we organize listening as a collective rather than as an individual procedure—listening as a relation to an other.
Finally, and perhaps most difficult to discuss, is the tense of the question: “What did you hear?” There is an acoustic action, the attention that bends to it, and then the question, “What did you hear?” What we heard was our encounter with the object. Our responses to the question teach us, in part, the terms of that encounter. The articulation of these terms provides the foundation for a political analysis. Thus, rather than only paying attention to what the sound represents, to what it indicates or means, collective organizing benefits from a rigorous understanding of how we tender our attention, of how we listen.

mutual healing in new cross

thursday 2nd of June 7.30 – 9.30

monday 6th of June 6.30 – 8.30

friday 17th of June 4.30 – 7.00

tuesday 21st of June 6.30 – 8.30

at The Field, 385 Queens Road

We are a group of people who just finished a reiki level one course at The Field and we would like to carry on practising healing together with other people. We want to develop a healing practice by sharing the knowledge that people might have in the neighbourhood. We believe that everybody has the potential to heal others, it is a matter of practice and of creating the conditions for healing to take place. We would like for healing to exit studios and private homes and become mutual and part of the everyday life on New Cross. We believe that healing comes with transformation, and transformation should be not just individual but collective, hence political.

Too often therapists encourage us to blame (or not to blame) ourselves for what is actually caused by the system that dominates our world (call it capitalism or what you like), whilst therapies turn us into subjects that better fit society as it (unjustly) functions. Corporations poison and destroy the life of the planet, the rich become richer and the poor poorer, governments protect big businesses and deny refuge to refugees, everything gets privatized, competition and exploitation is almost compulsory, rents get higher and higher, neighbourhood gets gentrified and life becomes more precarious, and all this and much more has lethal effects on our bodies-minds-souls. We want healing to take in account and transform the unjust conditions that provoke the destruction of ourselves and all the forms of life on the planet.

We want to practice healing away from the dominant system of professionalism and monetization, on the basis not of titles, accreditations and insurances, but of collective care and trust. We like the term “healing” because we think that many ways of interacting and being together can generate healing, that is, can cure us from capitalism and help us turning life into a “good life”. We might practice not just reiki but also political therapy, theatre of the oppressed and schizoanalysis, astrology and palmistry, non-violent communication and permaculture, mindfulness and shamanism and whatever else people can contribute with. If you like to share something, even if it has no name, or if you are simply interested in healing, come and join us.


The Human Condition with Fred Dewey

On the 7th, 14th and 21st of May 11am – 2pm at The Field

We will be reading Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition with LA activist and writer Fred Dewey. Fred has organised several readings of this book, often alongside the organisation of the neighbourhood council movement in LA. The first Saturday we will read section 4 to 7 of chapter II looking at ‘the private and public’. We will define what we read as we go along, discuss ideas to develop, and work through our differences. Last year Fred presented at The Field his book The School of Public Life (http://www.errantbodies.org/doormats_4.html), triggering an inspiring discussion (summarized in the “toolbox” page of the new cross commoners website). This reading is also a continuation of that discussion.


job de-centre on sunday 8th of may

The next job de-centre will be on Sunday the 8th of May from 3 to 6 at The Field.

As usual, people will propose activities and we’ll decide together what to do (or not to do). The attempt is always to think and talk in unusual ways about work, unemployment, precarity, how to live with less money and with each others’ help. And hopefully it will be not simply thinking and talking.

Marc would like to facilitate a workshop on “doing a lot more with nothing: ‘more meaning, less matter’ a transversal shifting to everything unreally good.”

Cliff and Alex will propose an activity on “how we consume data and how data consumes us (e.g. giving people their data back in the form of tea blends)”.

Rosie will be “leading a workshop around Joanna Hedva’s article ‘Sick Woman Theory’, which she wants to share because of its importance to goals of the Job de-centre.” http://www.maskmagazine.com/not-again/struggle/sick-woman-theory

To find out more you’ll have to make it!


soma, an anarchist therapy

On saturday the 7th of May we organise at the Field a workshop of Soma, an anarchist therapy. We would like to keep the number of participants around 15, if you are interested in joining please send an email to the New Cross Commoners.

Soma is a libertarian group experience using playful games to develop collaboration. Created in Brazil as an anarchist therapy by Roberto Freire, Soma is a space for social experimentation despite capitalist formulas of life. it brings out the micro-political through our bodies’ response to certain physical exercises, to challenge the authoritarian or submissive behaviour that we discover in our daily lives. Soma encourages perception of how this behaviours reproduces political systems and aims to extend this awareness to other areas of our lives, to challenge hierarchy and social injustice.