"Burmantofts, Mabgate and Lincoln Green are areas rich with history and life."
There are over 75 languages spoken here, with some of the best charities and community groups in the city calling it home and a wealth of hidden stories, experiences and skills. That’s why we wanted to make sure that the people who live and work here at the centre of any change that might come in the future.
A Neighbourhood Plan seemed like one of the best ways of doing that. So, over 18 months we spoke to people who live here, local businesses, schools, mental health services and community groups to see if there might be interest in setting one up.
There was! So here we are. There are so many more people we need to meet and work with to make this a successful plan.
One of the ways we wanted to do that was through art and culture. Because we believe that creativity is one of the best tools for change, and a good way to meet new people.
We had planned a whole series of events and activities this year, starting with Selina Thompson’s ‘Oh God Not Another One’ which would see her bring together a Kitchen Table Council of residents to talk about the neighbourhood’s challenges, think up solutions and action them together.
Then COVID-19 hit and the neighbourhood changed in a way we couldn’t have predicted. So now, with the support of Kat and Dahab, who have been tasked with making events, activities and projects happen throughout the year that residents can get involved with, we’ve started again.
What’s Happening Now
Kat and Dahab want to meet as many local people as possible and create opportunities for us all to get to know each other. They’re starting with an East Leeds Gift Exchange, where you can give and receive a home-made gift with a neighbour.
They are also looking for local artists to create designs inspired by the neighbourhood, that we’ll use when we’re promoting the Neighbourhood Plan.
Kat and Dahab will be working with Jade Montserrat and Mafwa to involve residents in a short film that will be available to watch online in August. As well as Found Fiction to create a guerrilla street literature project to be displayed in public spaces, abandoned areas and different venues across Quarry Hill and Mabgate.
What’s Coming Up
Throughout 2020 we planned some great projects in the neighbourhood that explored really important themes like democracy, climate change and migration. We’ve had to pause these projects and work out how best to proceed with them but will publish more information here as soon as we can. In the meantime, meet some of the artists and their projects
Beneath Burmantofts is a rich history of untold stories, at risk of being forgotten.
Burmantofts Pottery is one of the most untapped and important parts of this neighbourhood and the city’s history. Aware of the potential erasure of this history through gentrification, now is an urgent time to activate these stories – highlighting the value and diversity that exists in the experiences of those who live and work here today.
Beneath Burmantofts will bring the neighbourhood’s history as the once epi-centre of creativity and manufacturing back to the fore. And explore why Burmantofts Pottery continues to be exhibited and sold around the world, but is rarely connected back to this place we love and call home.
We want to investigate that history with a team of local residents, historians, community organisers and artists. Imagine large scale public artworks, workshops, talks and events – and maybe even a Time Team style dig on the original site!The first artist commission for this project will be ADD FUEL who will work with Shakespeare Primary School to create a new public artwork inspired by the history of Burmantofts Pottery and the people that he meets. He visited Mabgate in 2020 to meet with schools, community groups and potential partners. There will be a range of activities you can become involved in during the development of this piece.
OH GOD NOT ANOTHER ONE – Selina Thompson
In February and March 2020, Selina spent a lot of time in Mabgate, Burmantofts and Lincoln Green meeting local residents to bring together a ‘Kitchen Table Council’ of locals to talk through the hot political problems of the day, to think up solutions – and to action them, together.
We can’t wait to welcome Selina back in 2021 to pick up where she left off.
Season for Change
Five artists are developing new works that will take place across Mabgate, Burmantofts and Lincoln Green in Spring 2021. Each work takes a new look at climate change: how it effects our health, our lifestyle and relationship with each other.
Each work will be completely different – think growing your own clothes, Afrofuturist parties, neon green houses, rituals, public dinner parties, a tiny house and sculptural wind turbines.
More to be announced VERY SOON.