One of the elements of this discussion that interests me most is the fact that we are all generally coming from a white, middle class perspective, in attempting to understand this city we live in. As such, so much of what we want from and love about London is tied up and ingrained in other things that we fear or don't understand. Brixton's a perfect example of this conundrum. It's long been a home for political activists, for artists and for true multiculturalism, in particular for Africans and Jamaicans. Yet partly because of these reasons, it has experienced clashes with government - the Brixton Riots being a big example, and thus it has formed a vacuum into which poverty, crime and a rampant drug culture have drifted. I found this great article by a very right-on travel writer called Victor Borg, which gives an honest and tributary take on Brixton's uniqueness (-is that a word?)

The point is, we are part of that lively community. We cannot allow such events to polarize people and cultures. We live in these places. We can expect to feel safe in them. And 'we' means the entire community of Brixton, and London by extension.

Here's a great article that I'm not sure has been posted yet. Apologies if it has. It's the bit about guns being carried round like mobile phones that gives me the shivers...



Blogger Joel Horwood said...

I'm glad you say you love London. So do I.

Blogger George Perrin said...

I'd love to celebrate Brixton the way Victor Borg does in his article but it's not the Brixton I see living there. But do you become part of a community just by being geographically placed within it? I spoke to a guy a few months ago who runs a second-hand furniture shop on the corner of Cold Harbour Lane. He now lives in Germany and brings over retro furniture from Europe to sell in Brixton. He was telling us that in the 80s and 90s Brixton was as Victor Borg describes it - bohmenian, arty, diverse and full of pot. But the problem as he saw it was that the pot brought in dealers who in turn brought in crack which is now what fills the doorways Victor celebrates in his article.


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