Marking 40 years since the devastating events of the Brixton Uprising of April 1981, caused as a result of racial tensions between the Black community and the police, non zero one explore the impact of the historical event years later in their interactive, audio tour – On These Streets.
With Brixton Station as the tour’s starting point, On These Streets unravels via 7 crucial points, Paula, our main guide, a poetic Siri – a local of Brixton and our modern day representative of what Brixton is today. The Brixton of the past gradually unveils as the tour stops off at each respective point, testimonies of what life used to be like, tied in with the destructive events of 1981 the tour’s undercurrent – Somalia Nonyé Seaton’s weaving of verbatim testimony with fictionalised speech a powerful factor of the tour. Baden, Aunty and Uncle ensure the tour is kept rooted within its locality, adding heart. Contributing a welcome and necessary presence, they’re symbols of the Black Caribbean community, important.
XANA’s bright, lively score builds on the tour’s bold intention, Tobi Kyeremateng produces an ambitious, expansive experience scaling the breath of Brixton, we’re offered a more detailed, unconventional tour of the area, expanding both historical and geographical knowledge. The tour takes me roughly 90 minutes to complete, segments between each stop roughly 10 to 20 minutes in length as you make your way to the next location. Certain breaks are accompanied by audio, making transitions entertaining and thought provoking. The app’s functionality is well thought out, you’re sent a link to the app prior to the event, the app consisting of a map, buttons on the top left to either skip or go back a section, and a main button at the centre of the screen that you press to either access the map or audio – the audio itself, a simple case of pressing the play button. A treasure trove of local history at the click of a button, our new way of accessing art.
What’s great with experiences such as these, is that they can be experienced at your own pace. The audio is powerful, soulful and political – concerned with presenting Brixton’s history, yet building a positive future, it’s very hopeful. A great addition to the audio tour shows that have been produced post pandemic!
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
On These Streets is currently showing until Thursday 30th September 2021 at Brixton House. To find out more about the tour, visit here…