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Template:Lowercase The rampART is a squatted social centre in the Whitechapel area of East London. It was established in a derelict building in Rampart Street which was previously used as an Islamic girls school. The centre runs as a private members club providing a space for a wide-range of groups to carry out their activities. Like all such projects, it is managed by volunteers without any funding and with a strong emphasis on consensus decision making and DIY culture.

The centre is known variously known as the rampART social centre, the rampART creative centre and social space, or more commonly as rampART.

The centre has lost a court case brought by the owner and will be evicted from January 3 onwards. [1]

Developments at rampARTEdit

The rampART social center in East London has been open for almost four years, hosting meetings, screenings, performances, exhibitions and benefit gigs. During that period the building and resources evolved to adapt to the demands of its users. In November 2007 property developers plan to partially demolish the squatted houses next to the social center and build three new properties at the back. [2] The rampART itself was under no immediate threat and regular activities continued as normal but in December 2007 the centre received eviction papers and the date for eviction was set at January 3 2007. [3]

BackgroundEdit

rampART was opened May 2004 and is located at 15-17 Rampart Street, London E1 2LA. The project was initiated by a mixture of artists, community groups and political activists. Within the first year, the building had hosted over 100 cultural and political events - placing the rampART firmly on the activist map of London.

The centre is run by an open collective as an autonomous space. It is open to all on the basis of equality for all. Projects are run on an entirely voluntary basis by the people involved. They are not charity workers or social workers. The projects are run in the spirit of co-operation, solidarity and mutual aid. It is not a commercial enterprise run for profit - instead it is funded day-to-day by donations given by the users, or by raising funds through benefit events such as gigs, cafés or film nights. <P> The rampART constitution states that:
The rampART is run collectively. Any one is free to get involved or make proposals relating to use of the space by come along to one of the weekly meetings which are held Mondays after 6pm. We attempt to make all major decisions relating use of the space by building a consensus, both out of a desire to avoid hierarchies and also in recognition that decisions are more likely to be carried out when decided by consensus.

Projects at rampARTEdit

Cultural activitiesEdit

Skill sharing and workshopsEdit

Resource exchange and other projectsEdit

Events at rampARTEdit

GatheringsEdit

  • The Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army held training sessions at the centre.[4]
  • During the Hugo Chávez referendum there was a week long ‘Venezuela Solidarity’ event.
  • Conscious fashion week.
  • A week-long series of talks, films, food and discussion about Africa.
  • The festival for peace organised by the European Creative Forum and Peace Not War was accompanied by an afternoon of workshops at rampART.
  • During the European Social Forum the rampART opened its doors to accommodate over 50 European visitors as well as laying on free food and a huge range of entertainment. Additionally, as one of the European Social Forum autonomous spaces, rampART hosted the Home Education Forum and acted as homebase for the European Creative Forum and the Laboratory of Insurrectional Imagination.
  • Following the Anarchist Bookfair 2007 a fund raising party for No Borders was held at rampART.[5]

Film nightsEdit

  • Since the closure of The Other Cinema, Indymedia London has been using the rampART as a venue for a series of film festivals. These included 'Caminos De Resistencia' (Paths Of Resistance) and the Middle East Film Festival.
  • There have also been non-Indymedia organised festivals including 'Positive Global Movements', a week long exhibition of inspiring stories of resistance around the world.
  • Prior to its official debut, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 was premiered at the rampART on the 4th July as part of an 'Independence FROM America’ themed evening.
  • 120 people squeezed into rampART's main room for a documentary about the McLibel trial and a sneak premiere of Super Size Me.

ReferencesEdit

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Related articlesEdit

  • 491 Gallery, another squatted social centre in east London

External linksEdit

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