Wednesday, 30 May 2012

In-Conversation 006

is an arts initiated model of community-owned and people-centered regeneration. In 2010, Dutch artist Jeanne van Heeswijk was commissioned by Liverpool Biennial to look at Anfield (a ‘tinned up’ area of Liverpool), and the issues facing young people in the neighborhood. How could these young people be supported to take matters into their own hands and work together to develop an imaginative and experimental approach to dealing with empty properties and spaces in their neighborhood? From the outset, young people involved were encouraged to think about their future and their neighborhood in tandem, while learning that, if they work together as a community, they can improve their surroundings and, with it, their life chances.

Over a two year period the group 2Up2Down has worked to design sustainable, affordable homes utilizing empty houses, reinstate the iconic former Mitchell’s bakehouse as a shop, bakery training kitchen, and community hub, and to establish a Community Land Trust to provide affordable housing by refurbishing empty homes in the area.

Franny George has been involved in the project since its conception and initial groundwork in 2009. For all but 3 years, she has worked predominantly out-of office and in and with members of the community in Anfield. Franny has fostered an up-close, personal, and on the ground involvement with the people, the place, and 2Up2Down: not usually expected from a project manager. 2up2down is not, and never has been a simple art and regeneration project to be delivered. It's much more than that, and far more complicated. Local issues and struggles have become integrated into the wholeness of 2Up2: down pushing the boundaries and the concept of art and regeneration. 

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