BGT podcast – a return to slum conditions

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A series of podcasts documenting our research for Britain’s Got Tenants, our new show about the housing crisis and the history of social housing, which will tour in May and June 2016.

For this second episode we’re joined by spoken word artist and poet Deanna Rodger to talk about slum conditions, precarity and homelessness. Over the course of the episode we cover:

Deanna’s poem to London landlords //// Flat-hunting in London //// The Old Nichol slum as remembered by Arthur Harding //// The man with the longest five-barrelled non-repetitive surname in Britain //// The Rothschild Buildings //// Vintage orange crates //// The effects of poor housing conditions on children //// Similar levels of over-crowding today as are documented in Victorian slums //// Buggy babies //// What happens when a family is made homeless //// The idea of home //// A extraordinary piece of poetry which Deanna wrote for us //// Greedy Landlord by Karl Dallas, in a version by Leon Rosselson

Guest artist: Deanna Rodger
Sound technician and editor: Jon McLeod
Presented and produced by Sophie Winter and Ben Hadley

A massive thank you to everyone we interviewed during our research: Glyn Robbins, Paul Watt, Geraldine Dening, John Allan, Olly Wainwright, Beattie Orwell, Gerlinde Gniewosz, Doreen Massey, Mary van der Water, Aruna Ganesan, Harold Greatwood, Frank Foster, Jonathan Rosenberg, Diana Belshaw, Sally Taylor, Paul Burnham, Ayesha Taylor, Robin Grey, Kristian Scrace, Marc Francis, Katharine Sacks-Jones, Esmaa and Kawther Gvernaoui, Jennifer, Zlatka Doynova, Rejane Barbosa, Anna Kasperek, Liam, Cat Denby, Tom Cordell
We would also like to thank: Jen Kavanagh and Bill Lowry at the Museum of London, Pilgrim Tucker at Unite the Union, and all the campaigns and groups who shared their experience with us: Architects for Social Housing, Focus E15 Mums, Save Cressingham Gardens, Sweets Way Resists, Hands Off Knights Walk, West Ken and Gibbs Green, Westway23, the Radical Housing Network and Different Skies

Other sources used during our research:

Cotters and Squatters, by Colin Ward
Estates, by Lynsey Hanley
Family and Kinship in East London
, by Michael Young and Peter Wilmott
Ground Control
, by Anna Minton
Private Island
, by James Meek
The Blackest Streets
by Sarah Wise

History of tenants rights
Tenants histories and struggles
The Radical Housing Network
Municipal Dreams
Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth report on social cleansing

Online Documentary Films
Behind the 1970s Rent Strike
Highbury Quadrant
I wouldn’t need a mansion (Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association film, made by Digital Works)
Market to Parkside
Not a Penny on the Rent
Rowley Way (made by Digital Works)
Squatters town – a short film about people squatting an army barracks after the war
St Hilda’s East (Digital Works)
The Great Estate
The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces
Their world, this time

Radio / podcasts
Cry Freehold: how land values / ownership are connected to the housing crisis

The Museum of London


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