Collectivizing needs – workshop at Party in the Park, Fordham Park, Saturday 14th of September 2pm – 4 pm

For Party in the Park the New Cross Commoners and the New Cross Community Survey will organize a mapping workshop on collectivizing needs. Through a series of trigger questions and materials to create maps, we will engage in open discussions to rethink our needs and their nature.

Are our needs really personal and individual as we often perceive them? Can we deal with those needs collectively? What are the multiple and collective possibilities of engaging with those needs that seem at first sight monolithic and uniform? (e.g. “I need money…”)

We will deal with the question of needs in a playful way, in line with the atmosphere of Party in the Park, and engaging with participants throughout the whole day.

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Notes from a map we made of “What’s missing in New Cross”:

A massive communal sound / visual trip theme park instead of sainsbury’s park // A swimming pool where Laurie Grow Bath is, now the building is owned by Goldsmiths but it used to be a public bath and it should become public again. // A bath house – skip pool – saunas – hot tub – recycled wood // A 24 hour craft – art – workshop space // Run New Cross as a collective commune // A New Cross family farm // A community chicken backyard to get eggs // Clean public compost toilets // A bridge over the main road with a garden on the top // Tobacco growing // Schenkladen – free shop // Protection on rent – rent cap – good housing for everyone // Free education // A place for cultural encounters and exchanges // A free community space with kitchen, toys, books, sofas and a brewing set // Cheap good beer // Co-operative cafes // A free cinema // Fun fairs // Bauwagens // A community tool shared workshop // Access to goldsmiths library for local people // Commitment based work sharing // Open herb garden allotment useful plants for medicine culinary – Container growing – Recycling, make it yourself

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Anti-gentrification people’s kitchen in New Cross

From the mapping at Party in the Park some of us organized came out the idea of bringing together different collectives active in the neighbourhood to join forces and organize a New Cross people’s kitchen.

A people’s kitchen has the danger of becoming an agent of gentrification when attracting cool young people and excluding many other less “cool” who would not feel taking part in it.

To be anti-gentrification the people’s kitchen should be far away from a hipsters’ kind of kitchen. The people’s kitchen format should be used in New Cross to get local communities together. The idea would be to invite different communities to cook together with us, to have different kinds of food each time, e.g. Somali, Spanish, Caribbean, and so on, in order to build relationships with those communities.

We would not simply recycle / skip food, cook it and eat it, we would also organize each time activities that could go from film screenings + discussion, to presentations and workshops, so that the people’s kitchen could become a convivial moment to speak together about issues and topics concerning us, the neighbourhood, the invited communities, about ongoing and future campaigns…

Also, it would be good to integrate into the people’s kitchen a food bank without shame and without charity: the food, cooked and uncooked, that will be left over will be taken away by whoever needs it.

So, with this people’s kitchen we would do much more than just reducing waste food in New Cross, it would be a way for the different self-organized collectives of New Cross to get together and join forces, for us to get in contact with and get to know local communities, to share and discuss issues and concerns in convivial settings, to fight poverty without making charity, to create alternative possibilities for people (us!) to sustain their lives collectively, to give ourselves tools to fight gentrification and the privatization of the neighbourhood, and of our lives, by planning social and political change collectively and from below.

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