Radical ESSEX




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Current Past




Radical histories of Basildon

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of Basildon’s designation as a post-war British New Town. Writer and researcher Holly Firmin, in conversation with Shaun C. Badham of Bas Arts Index and Lu Williams of Grrrl Zine Fair, will discuss how we might go about producing alternative, ‘radical’ histories, art and archives about Basildon.

Holly Firmin is a writer, researcher and member of the Focal Point Gallery team. She has completed two dissertations on the history of Essex at the University of Cambridge, the most recent of which explored the history of Basildon Development Corporation between 1965 and 1986.

Shaun C. Badham is the founder of BasArtsIndex, a free online database for creative individuals, groups and organisations from, living, working in, or making work about the Basildon borough. His current project, PLOT, focuses on the pre-New Town Plotland communities.

Lu Williams is founder of the Grrrl Zine Fair, a zine fair which platforms the work of feminist creatives, and has been commissioned to produce a new place-based work in Basildon to mark its seventieth anniversary as a New Town.

This event is free and open to all, book your place here. The Beecroft Art Gallery has accessible toilet facilities and lift access to all floors. Please contact us with any specific access requirements.

This event will be followed by ‘Directions 01’, an evening of Basildon-related short films taking place at The Craft Shed in Basildon from 6pm. For more information click here.

Lecture Theatre, Beecroft Art Gallery, Victoria Avenue
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Radical Essex is a project re-examining the county in relation to radicalism in thought, lifestyle, politics and architecture. A programme of events will take place across Essex throughout 2016 and 2017, shedding light on the vibrant, pioneering thinking of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The project will celebrate the crucial role Essex has played in the history of British Modernism and its utopian ideologies under the themes ‘The Modernist County’ and ‘Arcadia for All’.

The Radical Essex site is designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and Alex Rich, developed by Twelve.

Radical Essex is led by Focal Point Gallery in collaboration with Visit Essex and Firstsite. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England it forms part of the country wide Cultural Destinations programme, a partnership with VisitEngland, supporting arts organisations to work with the tourism sector to deliver projects that maximise the impact culture has on local economies.

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If you are a business or arts organisation interested to be involved in the project or learn more information, please contact us here

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our project partners: