The Showroom

Communal Knowledge

Communal Knowledge is a programme of collaborative projects where artists and designers are invited to work with community groups, organisations, schools and individuals from The Showroom’s neighbourhood.

Set up in 2010 and led by Louise Shelley our Collaborative Projects Curator, Communal Knowledge has responded to numerous local, social and political shifts. Through conversations around shared interests and concerns, projects aim to generate playful and experimental avenues for critical reflection on issues at stake locally.

The Church Street area, NW8, is bordered by the Edgware Road, Regent's Canal, Lisson Grove and the Westway, and is known for its distinctive and diverse communities from across the Middle East and Africa. Culturally and community rich, the neighbourhood also has the fourth lowest median household income of all the wards in London and 50 per cent of children live below the poverty line.

Much of the emphasis is on finding ways to re-think or ‘unlearn’ established norms, values, codes, roles and relations, to create visibility, and to produce an alternative body of knowledge gained through communal activity and experience. Projects can take the form of commissions which develop through a year-long series of workshops and research, culminating in a presentation or event in the gallery space; or they can function as long-term collaborations, some of which are off-site, embedded within the local community.

Our approach is unique in the way in which we build strong relationships through projects developed over the long-term, and in how we regard each and every person involved in them as a collaborator. Trust and a conscious awareness of process and the impact a project can have beyond its existence, are key to our way of working. Some groups and individuals are now starting to get involved in projects within our broader programme, or in some cases are taking on a more proactive role within artistic productions.

For more information or to get involved please contact Louise Shelley or phone 020 7724 4300.

Local groups and organisations

Ada Court
Church Street Neighbourhood Management
City of Westminster College
DreamArts
Fourth Feathers
Independent Workers of Great Britain
Justice for Domestic Workers
King Solomon Academy
Marylebone Bangladesh Society
Marylebone Project
Penfold Community Hub at 60 Penfold Street
Portman Early Childhood Centre
Pursuing Independent Pathways [PIP]
Quintin Kynaston School
The Cockpit Theatre
The Migrants Resource Centre
The Prince's Trust
The Seymour Homeless Art Collective
Westminster Adult Education services

Communal Knowledge is generously supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s Charity, John Lyon’s Charity, and Garfield Weston Foundation.

Current

  1. Event Difference as an Arithmetic Exercise, Seminar

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    Event Point 6 Reading Group

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    Event The Showroom Reading Group 2013

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    Event Seymour Art Collective NBP diagram walk

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    Video re-projecting (london): Seymour Art Collective – Walk

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    Event Sirens Taken for Wonders

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    Video Sirens Taken for Wonders

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    Text Ricardo Basbaum: re-projecting (london)

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    Event Church Street Neighbourhood Lunch

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    Event The Walking Reading Group

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    Exhibition Kathrin Bohm: I am a shop

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    Event PIP on Church Street Market

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    Event Talking Shop

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    Event The Silent University Open Day

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    Event Work Like This

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    Event Werker 3: Bilderkritik 2 with Justice for Domestic Workers

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    Event Survival Strategies for Cultural Workers Meeting

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    Event ASK! cleaning action with Justice for Domestic Workers

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    Exhibition The Grand Domestic Revolution GOES ON

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    Event The Reading Room

  21. Event Book Launch: Andrea Francke and Delta Arts

  22. Event Read-in with Annette Krauss, Laura Pardo and Marina Stavrou

  23. Event Film screening with a women's organisation

  24. Event Workshop: Matthijs de Bruijne and Justice for Domestic Workers

  25. Event Presentation of Futures Plan

  26. Event Workshop: Quintin Kynaston school and Annette Krauss

  27. Event Church Street Neighbourhood Management Networking Lunch

  28. Afak_exhibit_2012_image_1
    Exhibition Andrea Francke and Annette Krauss: (in)visibilities

  29. Afak_exhibit_2012_image_8
    Event Final discussion: Invisible Spaces of Parenthood

  30. Event Workshop: Cardboard shape toys