'a place for collecting stories, memories, knowledge and impressions from the neighbourhood; a space in which to contemplate the rich histories and voices of the area whilst simultaneously trying to imagine its possible futures'
King’s Cross is a thriving hub of city-centre activity where cultures, roles and meanings collide on a daily basis. Every week vast numbers of people commute into and away from its busy stations, into a neighbourhood with a relatively small residential population of around 12,000. Amongst its most renowned institutions and centres sit the British Library, Central St. Martins, University of the Arts London, the Wellcome Collection and the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
Home to a diverse cross-section of the metropolitan community with countless centres and businesses reflecting its cosmopolitan characteristics, the area has several centres for women, young people and refugees as well as spaces for community groups and meetings, two mosques, numerous churches, a Buddhist centre and countless cultural hubs. After English, the most commonly spoken languages in the area are Bengali, French, Chinese and Somali. Perhaps as a result of all this commerce and action, it is currently one of the most highly polluted parts of London.
Traditionally, left-field literature has taken centre-stage in King’s Cross, which boasts the UK’s first and only gay book shop in the UK, Gay’s the Word, as well as Housmans Bookshop, one of the longest-running radical bookshops in the country. With varied and sometimes hidden histories – such as the now-obsolete river Fleet which was a key source of inspiration to the poet William Blake, and the never-realised King’s Cross airport – the area remains an enigma, ripe for discovering new truths.
CONTRIBUTE TO OUR JOURNAL
With a mission to showcase the communal knowledge of the King’s Cross neighbourhood, behind the walls of our Editorial Office we hope to capture some of Kings Cross’s rich heritage and possible futures by collecting your stories, ideas, recipes, thoughts and news that we will publish in an online journal. We welcome contributors of all ages, from residents both past and present, to people involved in local businesses, organisations and groups; from individuals with an ancestral or academic attachment to the area, to those who hope to form a future connection or to imagine its possible future. Whatever your ideas, we’d like to hear them!
OPEN CALL FOR COLLABORATORS
Some of the fields and subjects we are interested in include social housing, air quality and environment, self-organisation and DIY culture, heritage and land ownership, social movements and human rights, migration, development and regeneration plans, etc.
We are also looking for event hosts to participate in a series of events that will take place in September and early October. Events could take form of a tour, talk, workshop, cooking session, film screening or any format that might fit with your ideas.
Please send us an expression of interest (250 words max) by Monday 4 September and we’ll get back to you with feedback and suggestions for how we might collaborate on an event together.
Visit us at our Centre or contact
Phone Number: +44 (0)20 7278 8373
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Arts Catalyst is delighted to announce the opening of the King’s Cross Editorial Office over the summer. Located at our Centre on Cromer Street, the Editorial Office will be a place for collecting stories, memories, knowledge and impressions from in and around the neighbourhood; a space in which to consider the rich histories and voices of the area whilst simultaneously trying to imagine its possible futures.
By adopting an open-door approach, the office will function as a place for listening to, recording and narrating the lives of the many constituencies and individuals who inhabit (or who once inhabited) the neighbourhood in an immersive, non-linear manner.
Through a series of events and the publication of an online journal that will incorporate the myriad voices of residents – as well as those of people, organisations and groups that engage with the locality from a variety of backgrounds – the Editorial Office strives to carve out a path for co-inquiry within the area, championing the situated knowledge of King's Cross.
Arts Catalyst's programme is supported by Arts Council England, Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre and the University of Westminster. A Special thank you to Dee Searle, a member of Arts Catalyst's Development Committee.