Roehampton R.O.C.K.S. is a non-profit creative arts space and education programme for children, their families, and all diverse groups. It is based at the Roehampton Estate, South London and mainly offers art programme (as after school programme or holiday camps) for children and families of the Roehampton Estate.
The work that Roehampton R.O.C.K.S is undertaking shows the role that community arts spaces can have for communities going through rapid change. As an independent organisation, Roehampton R.O.C.K.S. is by run by a resident of the Alton estate, for residents of the Alton estate. The organisation is building a community arts space in which every community member can use and make their own. Connecting local residents through art, as well as getting local artists to collaborate with their communities has been used as a way of empowering people.
Why it matters?
‘What I can take charge of is not only in my home, but I can also make change within my community’ Orode Faka
Like many parts of the city, there is a huge change taking place in the area, with demolition, development, and redevelopment of buildings and homes. This changing landscape dramatically affects who will be the future residents, as well as the existing community in the Alton estate. The Alton Estate in Roehampton has a rich history. A grade II listed building, it was built 58 years ago and inspired by Le Corbusier’s Unité d’habitation.
Families came from other parts of blitzed London to populate the development. It is located in Wandsworth, one of the most unequal boroughs in London- a place where the value of properties can shift by £1 million when you cross a street. The estate is somewhat isolated, and despite drives and initiatives to try and get community thriving there, the political will has dried up, and they have proved to be unsustainable.
It is important that the stories of the existing community are documented, as they represent the rich and diverse culture that exists within the area. This is what Orode Faka sees as one of her key roles within the community.
- Roehampton R.O.C.K.S is trying to build a community hub space through art. To provide a space for the diverse groups of residents to come together, build relationships and a community.
- The organisation also aims to exchange their experience and practice internationally, by working with other groups who are using art to create local social change.