Making Space: An Exhibition of Squatting Trespass and Direct Housing Action Union St Cafe Sheffield 5-10 November 2018

Making Space: An Exhibition of Squatting, Trespass, and Direct Housing Action

Union St Cafe, Sheffield, 5-10 November 2018, as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences

Access to housing, shelter, property, and space, is one of the most pressing challenges facing the UK today. From questions around social housing responsibilities and inequalities sparked by the Grenfell Tower fire, to the steep rise in homelessness under austerity (with rough sleeping up by 134% since 2010). From the difficulties of accessing and defining ‘affordable housing’, to the 205,000+ homes that we know of which have been empty for more than 6 months. From the ‘regeneration’ and social cleansing of our council estates and community centres (including libraries, clinics, parks, sports facilities, and refuges), to the gentrification of our high streets and changes to our urban environment (such as the devastation of Sheffield’s trees).

Making Space – a week-long exhibition – will bring these issues to the fore. Displaying historical archive material alongside new social research into contemporary campaigns which are addressing housing, shelter, property, and space head-on through squatting, trespass, and direct action; this event offers the opportunity to learn from movements of the past as well as engage with the movements of the present. Bringing together campaigners, academics, and citizens, this is an occasion to network with – and be inspired by – activists on the front lines, as well as the social science which seeks to both understand and support their actions.

Following the exhibition in Sheffield, there are plans to take the exhibit ‘on tour’ around the UK in 2019. If you have an event or venue which you think would be suitable, then please get in touch.

Samuel Burgum, Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, Urban Studies and Planning, Sheffield / @sjburgum /

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