Arlington House towerblock in Margate became a huge projection screen on Friday (September 25) in a People Dem Collective takeover.
The community organisation based in Margate was behind the two Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Thanet this Summer. The group promotes and campaigns for racial equality and has plans to create a cultural centre at the former seafront Primark building to give space, engagement and inclusion for Black, Brown & Diaspora communities, as well as Roma/Traveller and LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Genderqueer, Queer, Intersexed, Agender, Asexual, and Ally) and neuro-diverse (eg autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyspraxia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, Tourette Syndrome, and others) communities.
The projection starred rapper Che Lingo, singer Nao and singer and percussionist Falle Nioke as well as Broadstairs resident Kane McArthur -known as Hu Man – who performed a spoken word piece using his own rap verses. Kane,23, also did a ‘bun hate let’s skate’ which has raised £600 towards the cultural centre.
People Dem Collective say the projection on Arlington House was an example of the work they will do in the cultural centre and community, giving young people the freedom and platform to work with artists who demonstrate black excellence.
The culture centre is the latest in a string of successful initiatives over the last six months that have galvanised community support.
The organisation has raised more than £30,000 in six weeks for their cultural centre fundraiser and can boast the world’s only art exhibition in a national gallery – Turner Contemporary -responding to the BLM protests following the murder of American George Floyd
People Dem Collective also is in partnership with the Margate Festival to co-curate the annual arts event this year to authentically provide voice and representation to the black, brown and diaspora community.
Victoria Barrow-Williams, Co-Director of People Dem Collective, said: “Healing will be a key part of the cultural centre’s provision. This is important for our Black and Brown communities and for our allies who have started their anti-racist journey.
“It’s overwhelming to see how local communities are just getting it! They are completely on board”
Kelly Abbott founder and director of People Dem Collective, added: “After attending a protest and reading a book on white privilege, people are asking, what now, how do I sustain my journey? The cultural centre will support that journey and provide a beautiful destination for us all to celebrate & support Black excellence”
Cynithia Lawrence John, international stylist and local business owner, said: “People Dem Collective have worked tirelessly to bring communities together in Margate, through the peaceful marches, art and cultural exchange. They have united the community not divided it”
Find out more