The Future Of Living

a residency in Park Royal

The Peoples Bureau (PB) has been ‘in  residency’ at Park Royal since May 2018, commissioned  by Create London (and with the support of OPDC) with the aim to engage with the  community around issues related to urban change in the area. Following a period  of meetings, walks and discussions with the locals we have decided to focus onthe  question of the Role of Participatory Art Practice and interrogate it  together with the locals and invited guests from the Collective* where we took  up a resident flat for a period of a week.

We  understand the role of art is to provide a space for agonism, mediation and  collaboration that can facilitate:

·       representation  through which citizens can express themselves and bring into visibility their  ways of seeing and

·       a  pluralist space from which a dialogical encounter can be facilitated.

There  were three particular questions we wanted to discuss:

1.  How to communicate/represent this way of working through image/visual as an artist/designer?

Unpicking graphic/visual communication and  Socially Engaged Practice.

(With our guests from Europa, Create London and local resident Ewa  Cwirko-Godycka.)

2. How this work is best communicated/represented democratically- by the collaborating community?

'really what should happen is that people should be able to  control the means of communication controlled  communications networks, that's the long term objective'. (Kelly, O., 1984)

(With our guests: local resident Theresa Magee and artist NeilCummings.

3. How this work is communicated/represented by media and translated  by audience?

(With our guests: local resident Amanda Souter, community  filmmaker Andy Porter and activist Robin Browne.)

The  daily encounters (17 – 19 September) started with a lunch in the communal  kitchen on the 8th floor, followed up by a live broadcast of our conversation in one of  the spaces of the Collective. We also took our guests on a tour of the  building: the library, the spa, the pub, the roof terrace, the cinema.

Some  of the resulting materials were presented as an installation as part of the  Open House Weekend (21 and 22 September). A publication will follow later in  the year. You can access sound recordings of the three conversations recorded (and live broadcasted) by the artist Lucia Scazzocchio on soundcloud following the links below.

*a co-living space in Park Royal that offers ‘a  convenient and fulfilling lifestyle' experience.

Artistic forms of production for resistance

10 June, 12 -6pm, Tate Exchange, Tate Modern.

Hosted by Peoples Bureau, this day will be dedicated to exploring the role and ethics of working in socially engaged art practice related to urban change and displacement.

‘What are the new forms of production that allow for new forms of resistance and envisage the possibility of a revitalization of the emancipatory project to which artistic practices can make a decisive contribution (…) Every critical gesture is quickly recuperated and neutralized by the forces of corporate capitalism.’ (Mouffe, 2013)

This event will mark the start of Eva and Rebecca’s critical evaluation of 9 years working collaboratively and will form part of a reflective manual, which they hope will serve as an instruction of and toolkit for a model of best practice.

We invite you to join us with your questions which will help form part of a public discussion (1 - 2.30pm) led by Eva and Rebecca (Peoples Bureau) with Ele Belfiore (Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Loughborough University who has published extensively on the belief in the transformative power and the presumed ‘social impacts’ of the arts) who will share lunch round a table with other invited socially engaged artists and practitioners.

The discussion will take place around Join – a table designed and installed by artist Michael Giambrone.

The day will include an installation of work made during Peoples Bureau’s Unearthing project at Tate Exchange (Taking place in 2017 in collaboration with Shane Waltener and Stave Hill Eco Park) which was recently reworked as part of a residency at Danielle Arnaud Gallery.

There will be performances by Zoe Gilmour (3pm) and Shane Waltener (2.30 - 4pm) . A soundscape will be delivered by sound artist Lee Berwick (4pm onwards).

About Peoples Bureau

Peoples Bureau is a programme of artistic actions that enable community representation and empowerment, delivered by artists Eva Sajovic and Rebecca Davies.

Peoples Bureau was set up in 2014 and based at the Elephant and Castle shopping centre - one of the most contested sites in the capital, currently undergoing a vast development that has been and will continue to permanently displace thousands of people who live and work here. Peoples Bureau collects and makes visible the diversity of cultures, skills, networks and resourcefulness present in an area (eg long-term in Elephant&Castle). Peoples Bureau occupies a unique position in the context of community art, by engaging with a multitude of stakeholders including local residents, the developers, universities, Southwark Council, art institutions, activists and the media, thus creating a vibrant platform for contestation, negotiation and representation.

Through skill exchanges and other interactions, Sajovic and Davies act as community catalysts, activating individuals, communities and local organisations. Their collaborative practice has seen them work with Whitechapel Gallery, LCC, Chelsea College of Art, Tate Modern. Peoples Bureau is a Tate Exchange Associate.

In Elephant&Castle they have worked with over 20 local groups, regularly and actively engaging with over 200 local residents from Latin American, Bangladeshi and British communities. The project has been piloted at the Bootle Library in Liverpool and is currently working in Park Royal as part of a commission from Create.

Rebecca and Eva, with writer Sarah Butler recently completed the film ‘Unearthing Elephant’ which won the Research In Film award at the AHRC film awards, 2017.


Mouffe, C (2013) Agonistics. Thinking the world politically London/New York: Verso


Lee Berwick is a London based sound artist who is interested in space, energy and the physicality of sound. 

As the 90’s turned to the 0’s Lee recorded all along the Thames, documenting a river and city different to the one we inhabit today. 
Lee’s performance will dig through this forgotten strata of London’s sound history..
The London eye goes up, the Bankside landing stage outside what is now the Tate modern comes down and ships unload at the last London dockyard.

Taking the ceramic. A skill in stages, shared by Sue at Bootle Library #peoplesbureau #humanlibrary

Holding the ceramic. A skill in stages, shared by Sue at Bootle Library #peoplesbureau #humanlibrary

Bowls for At the Human Library Bootle, Liverpool

Produced in collaboration with the people from Bootle the two bowls are going into the kiln tomorrow.

Celebratory event: Tuesday 1 May, 1-3PM. Bootle Library, Liverpool.

All Welcome!

Our project at Bootle Library, Liverpool written up in the Big Issue

In the summer 2017 we have been commissioned by curator Maria Brewster to make work for The Human Library at Bootle library, Liverpool.

The participatory project work that started around skill exchange led into a more in depth engagement with clay and photography, looking to bring the two together and always with community, conversation and sharing at its core. 

Thank you The Big Issue for the write up.

Unearthing Elephant WINS the prestigious Research in Film Awards by AHRC.

Launched in 2015, the Research in Film Awards celebrate short films, up to 30 minutes long, that have been made about the arts and humanities and their influence on our lives. 
Judges for the 2017 Research in Film Awards include Richard Davidson-Houston of Channel 4 Television, Lindsay Mackie Co-founder of Film Club and Matthew Reisz from Times Higher Education.
A special awards ceremony was held at BAFTA, on Thursday 9 November, where the winner of each of the categories was announced. Writer and broadcaster, Danny Leigh was hosting the event. 

The winning films will be shared on the Arts and Humanities Research Council website and YouTube channel. 

To follow the fortunes of the shortlisted films on Twitter via the hashtag #RIFA2017.


Elephant's Trumpet ISSUE 1 out in print and online (soon). 

Pick up your copy whilst there are still a few left - fromt he Elephant&Castle shopping centre.

We have started working on ISSUE 2 - to come out mid December.

People's Bureau at Tate Late

taking part at Tate Late at Tate Modern, 29 September 2017, 6 - 10PM
Come along and join in sharing/exchange of skills and lots of fun:

People's Bureau commissioned by At The Library project in Bootle

starting on the 25th September. Please come along and share/exchange your skill and learn something new over a cup of tea and chat.

Screening the UnEarthing Elephant film @ Arts Admin, 27 September, 7.30PM

Unearthing ELEPHANT screened at: 

Mini -Festival Amsterdam, 17 June 2017 (organised by Failed Architecture);

Comment from the organisers:

We had a great night Saturday and the screening was well attended despite the hot weather. We watched the film with about 50 people and had a brief discussion afterwards, among others on the 'porosity' of such a space (in a positive sense), but also on the almost deliberate neglect of such spaces by authorities and real estate owners. FA team member Tim Verlaan made an interesting comparison with the Hoogh Caterijne in Utrecht, built in 1962, both a shopping mall and the city's main transport hub ( 

Further screenings: 

Mini -Festival Amsterdam, 17 June 2017 (organised by Failed Architecture); Milton Keynes, 29 June 2017 (in collaboration with the Open University and MK gallery); Southwark Playhouse, July 2017; Liverpool, September 2017; Airspace gallery, Stoke on Trent, Autumn 2017.

4 March, 12-6 pm Tate Exchange, Tate Modern

As part of the Spatial Justice day at the Tate, we will be hosting Prof Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, whose work is the leading force behind the day’s activities. 

Prof Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos defines spatial justice as the conflict that emerges when one body wants to move into the space of another body. This opens up questions of symbiosis, creative confluence and regeneration, but also issues of power imbalances. The interview will elucidate some of these issues in his work, and the ensuing discussion will attempt at situating ourselves in the ongoing move of regeneration but also displacement of local communities. We hope to explore ideas about the role of developers, art institutions, and artists in dealing with issues of spatial justice and productive ways of reflecting them in their practices.

Saturday 4 March 2017

12 - 4 pm

CLAY WORKSHOP with Shane Waltener

Sally Child ( Director of bMoSo Academy of Song & Dance, Founder of The Society for Tea Trolley 


Helen Morse Palmer : Accredited Tea Trolley Dance Instructor.  

Tanztheater Adrian Look (Choreography: Adrian Look. Music composition: Stevon Russel. Dancers: Alessio Cappelli, Morena de Leonardis, Durassie Kiangangu, Songhay Toldon, Haeyeon Lim, Taylor Thompson, Maria Ines Sousa, Daniel Potter and Amy Chambers).

3.30 - 4 pm


4-6 pm

SPATIAL JUSTICE with Prof Andreas Philippopoulos-MihalopoulosInterview by Yoriko Otomo followed by a discussion with an invited panel.

The MODEL of the current shopping centre produced in collaboration with Hester Buck will be exhibited.


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