The Barbican Archive Residency

19-20 October 2019

walking around the barbican estate

Barbican Estate, The First Barbican Guide: Image Barbican Archive ©

The Barbican Archive team have put together a brilliant weekend stuffed full of fascinating film, talks, workshops and pop up installations and best bit….it’s all free.

This is clearly a major excuse to hang out in the Barbican, a full-throttle weekend of Brutalist architecture and concrete love that will satisfy even the most hardcore Barbican-maven. The archive team also have a call-out for items. If you have memorabilia they’d really like to hear from you. Annie Ward from the Archive Team explains,

‘On the Saturday 19th at 1:30pm we are holding an Archive Clinic (along with the Golden Lane Estate Community Archive). We want to encourage Barbican residents to drop in with any items of Barbican Centre/Estate related memorabilia that they’d like to donate to the archive (the Golden Lane Archive is also open to new items!)’.

At a glance here are just some of the things on offer. Click here for the full programme  

Barbican Centre Fountain Room

12-1 – Build Your Own Archive!

A fun creative workshop to design and build your own archive! A playful introduction to archiving, craft your own personal archive and add it to a collaborative new Barbican tower with its own archive collection. Suitable for families and children aged 6-12.  Workshop led by members of the Barbican Young Curators group.

Level G Studio

1.30-3.30 – Drop-in Archive Clinic – Barbican Archive and Golden Lane Estate Community Archive

Handle items from the Barbican Archive, talk to the team and donate your own Barbican items to the collection. Record your own memories of the Barbican for inclusion in the Archive. Watch the Barbican Archive Mixtape and listen to oral histories about the Barbican’s heritage on the Barbican Jukebox. The Golden Lane Estate Archive will be sharing photographs from the Estate’s history and talking about how they established their community archive.

4-5.30 – Revisiting the Battle of the Barbican – with Christine Wall and Linda Clarke

You can discover the story of the battle. It was named for an 18 month period of radical strike action that took place during Barbican’s construction. It saw builders take on senior management in a series of hostile disputes concerning pay and working conditions. The end result permanently change the way construction workers organised. Christine Wall and Linda Clarke (University of Westminster) will discuss their oral history project Constructing post-war Britain: building workers’ stories 1950-70 which documented the building of the Barbican, followed by an in-conversation + Q&A with Jim Moher, Michael Houlihan and others who worked on the site and participated in the strikes.

Sunday 20th October

Fountain Room

12-1 – Build Your Own Archive!

Join us for a fun creative workshop to design and build your own archive! A playful introduction to archiving, craft your own personal archive and add it to a collaborative new Barbican tower with its own archive collection. Suitable for families and children aged 6-12. Workshop led by members of the Barbican Young Curators group.

Level G Studio

2-3.00 – An Introduction to The London Community Video Archive

The London Community Video Archive (LCVA) presents a specially curated selection of films from the Community Video movement of the 1970s and 80s. In the early 1970s, portable video recording equipment became available, and it was possible for the first time for people outside of mainstream broadcasting to make their own television. LCVA’s aim is to draw attention to these unheard voices and images, enabling them to be used in contemporary debates and activism. Presented by filmmaker and researcher Ed Webb-Ingall.

3.30-4.30 – The Bishopsgate Institute

Discover the radical collecting practices of The Bishopsgate Institute’s Special Collections and Archive, with their archivist Stef Dickers. The Bishopsgate specialise in collections which feature Co-operative Movements; Feminist and Women’s History; Labour and Socialist History; LGBTQ+ stories. See highlights from the collection and hear about exciting new additions from recent London protests.

5-6.00 – Sounds Moving in Different Directions – The Far-Out Music of a 1970s Classroom

Take a trip back to the future with the team from Unlocking Our Sound Heritage as they explore the strange and charming world of Creating Music in Class, an educational box set produced by the Radiophonic Workshop’s John Baker, discovered in the archives of the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA). In 1976, this collection of experimental classroom instructions, psychedelic graphic scores and mind-bending sounds captured on reel to reel tape gave students and teachers a rare brush with the world of avant-garde sound and free-form improvisation. A must for fans of The Radiophonic Workshop, early electronics and improvised music. Come with open ears…

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