The hoardings are up!

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Peel Precinct

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The Luck of Where You Land

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Merle’s Diner

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South Kilburn Speaks Event @ Workshop 24, 5th March

Here are some photos taken at the event at Workshop 24 on 5th March. It was a fantastic afternoon that highlighted the incredible range of talent in South Kilburn. The audience was treated to songs, poems and lyrics written during the project, before artist Andy Edwards unveiled designs for the artworks.

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South Kilburn is many languages and cultures

I’ve been working with the ESOL classes at the BACES Carlton Vale Centre asking them for impressions of South Kilburn in their own languages. It’s been very exciting to discover how many different tongues are spoken in the area and how people have come from all over the world to make this part of London their home. Here’s a poem I’ve written inspired by the students and examples of their work can be seen in the posts below. Many thanks to all those who contributed and to the BACES Carlton Vale Centre.

Multitude
By Aoife Mannix

South Kilburn is flowers from Kosovo
unfurling peace and kindness even though
the night holds midnight whistlers calling
each other like sorrowful, solitary magpies.
These strange birds she never saw back
in Somalia though the cafés smell like home.
Eritrean excellence. She dreams in the language
of tigers. One night in Bangkok, a longing
for Moroccan mystery, the patient Persian
whispering of hopeful children mixing Urdu,
Tigrinya, Arabic, Portuguese, Farsi, Punjabi.
Their rich green vowels tiny seeds planted
in nostalgic cement that spells out
the low humming traffic song of a better future.

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South Kilburn Is

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South Kilburn Is

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on a lazy afternoon

I had been wondering how best to feedback to the blog on the amazing South Kilburn Speaks event that took place in workshop 24 on saturday 5th March, and then I got an email containing this absolutely brilliant poem from one of the young people that attended the event!
There should be photos from the day soon but until then I think Tuli’s poem says it all!

On a Lazy Afternoon
I’m no Peel Precinct veteran
But you feel the atmosphere move.
Through the air, under casual, ritual, well-practised steps,
Between the fingertips. It’s a regular afternoon.

Sometimes it may rush
From the wind that whips your back.
Don’t fight it, spread your arms wide,
Relish in it. It’s a mellow afternoon.

See the boy in the white
Martial arts cloth, with black belt hanging
Lazily from the waist. See him kick the ball this way,
That way, and somehow that way.

Try stopping for a while
Take a break from life.
Maybe balance a little on the paving stones.
Don’t just sit there clapping on a lazy afternoon.
It’s your turn now.

By Tuli Innocente-Beukes
(pupil from St. Augustine’s CE High School)

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Growing up (fast)

You have to have your own style, she said
Be original
But fit in with the crowd at the same time
Sometimes it’s a sad journey
Look around you
The open ocean meets the sky on all sides
Through the portholes
Giggling best friends are still small
But above deck (there’s no time to watch the sunset)
Parents and teachers point to forks in the whale road
Foreheads creasing from the weight of the importance
“This is the best time in your life
So make the most of it
think about the future like a good kid.”

Was the sun really out more when we were younger?
In the summer did the sun really stay out longer?
Is it true I got an ice-cream every time I asked?

Grazed knees and runny noses
Running home quick
new jumper, muddy elbows
Will Mummy notice?
School photos, Funny poses
I want to be an astronaut who plays for arsenal on Saturdays
A rap-star paramedic with a lambourghini ambulance
And any night I choose I can stay up late!

Was the sun really out more when we were younger?
In the summer did the sun really stay out longer?
Is it true I got an ice-cream every time I asked?

Hoods up at the youth club social
Local House rules on the pool table
Mo-no-syl-la-bles only
“You don’t know me”
And it’s easy to judge
Even easy to tut
At music played through phones on loudspeaker,
With legs outstretched and feet up
Trainer prints left on back seats of the bus
But the first time I walked through
Just visiting
I was looking at my laces
Trying stay invisible
Aged twenty seven
With my hood up too
(singing questions in my head)
Was the sun really out more when we were younger?
In the summer did the sun really stay out longer?
Is it true I got an ice-cream every time I asked?
And right then, if I’d seen me walk past
I probably would’ve echoed the stance,
So as not to take a chance
The menace lurks within the fear
Here, the only things taller than the tower blocks
Are the tower-cranes building more tower blocks
Growing up fast…

Simon Mole

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