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Lewisham Shopping Centre pop-up shop

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To coincide with Black History Month, three different projects took up residence in a vacant retail unit in Lewisham Shopping Centre, our borough’s busiest shopping location.

Unit 19 is brought to life by designer Rose Sinclair and her Caribbean Front Room installation and workshops.

Workshops, screenings, live art and talks transformed a former shoe shop into a space for people to explore local history, Caribbean textile cultures and contemporary art.

From an exhibition of contemporary art responding to the life cycle of a star, a public consultation on how we should remember the 1977 Battle of Lewisham, and an installation recreating a 1970s Caribbean front room, over 600 local people engaged with practice and research at Goldsmiths.

Researchers Dr John Price (History) and Rose Sinclair (Design) created a space for a genuine dialogue with local people about their history and culture. The projects included creative collaborations with local historians, activists, St Mary’s CE Primary (Goldsmiths Outreach) and students on the MA Art and Politics and the BA Art.

Lewisham is an incredibly diverse place experiencing rapid and uneven gentrification. All three projects sought to engage shoppers, while also organising more targeted workshops and events.

While Goldsmiths host hundreds of free public events each year, our audiences tend to have some pre-existing connection with the university. We actively want to reach publics that wouldn’t otherwise come to Goldsmiths or events hosted by organisations like universities, museums and galleries.

Remembering the ‘Battle of Lewisham’

“Thank you for this. We forget the 70s were full of protest. I had no idea this happened on my doorstep”.

“I hope more projects like this one are available in the shopping centre - all year around”

Visitor feedback.

Caribbean front room

“The past few days have been therapy. Reconnecting me to the love of making and of community”

“Lovely, inspirational. Many family memories came up. History, feminist, political and grassroots level”

Visitor feedback.