Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Deptford 'post-colonial ruins'

The Minesweeper is a boat in Deptford Creek which has hosted various 'underground' film and music nights and other events. This floating venue is moored across the river from the Laban Centre. Last year it was damaged in a fire. Watch the 'Save the Minesweeper' video here.

The future of the boat fits nicely with the theme of an an article by Leon Jesse Wansleben on art, gentrification and change in Deptford. Living in Deptford's Postcolonial Ruins is on the Deptford Arts Network/Don't Ask Nothing/Art Dealers No! site. Wansleben asks: 'Are all the old spaces to be razed and replaced by new ones or are we to reinhabit? What is there worth keeping? If one looks at Creekside for example, there is precious little that will win an architectural award or a heritage listing, but it is vital. And it is vital that this vitality is recognised. While Deptford High Street may have a preservation order on it, what of the people who occupy it? Will it inevitably become Deptford Village, awash with city pads, cute conversions and fine art galleries? And is it inevitable that the artists will move out of their grubby-but-lovely studios into the next 'urban creative ring' defined by the sociologists, only to be bought out once again by the next set of developers?'. With a nod to Walter Benjamin, Wansleben urges us to be ragpickers in the ruins, re-animating the discarded and attempting to make change in Deptford on our own terms.

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