So much of what we love about Bristol was made possible by squatting. Bristolians have taken over buildings and public spaces for housing, protest, art, gigs, raves, libraries, food and laughter from Leigh Woods to Easton. We’ve squatted in the aftermath of the Second World War, during the Miners’ Strike and in response to 21st Century austerity. But the memory of squatted spaces is all too easily lost to eviction and criminalisation.

This projects seeks to map when, where and why us and our neighbours have squatted in Bristol. By mapping the impact of squatting on the city we hope to claim the tactic the space it deserves in the city’s history and ask what the role is for squatting in Bristol today.

We’re starting by interviewing people who have squatted in Bristol to pull together a map of formerly squatted spaces. We’ll use that to start developing ways to tell the story squatting in Bristol in the 20th and 21st Century and running workshops on the future for squatting in the city.

View the map (hosted by the Squatting Europe Kollective)

How can I help or get involved?

 Have you been involved in squatting in Bristol? Whether you’ve attended squat parties, squatted for housing or supported people squatting on your street, we’d love to interview you. For the foreseeable future interviews will be over Zoom or telephone. You can remain anonymous and you will have control over what we record and what we don’t. Get in touch at toyo@riseup.net.

Are you interested in helping run the project? We’re particularly interested in this being an intergenerational project where younger Bristolians who haven’t squatted in the city get to know older generations who have. All skills and none are useful, but we’d be particularly keen to hear from people who know how to record audio and video, archive, interview and organise events. Get in touch via toyo@riseup.net.

Stuff linked to this project...

Events

Stolen Paradise [postponed until further notice]

During the summer of 1946, thousands of British families took the law into their own hands to temporarily solve their housing problems by "requisitioning" empty military camps. This mass-squatting movement was rapid, spontaneous and entirely working-class in character. While it was often driven at […] Read More =>
Radical History Zone 2015 Poster

Housing Activism and Squatting in 1970’s Bristol

Includes a screening of 18-minute documentary The Law Breakers (1973). Mac will begin by giving a brief personal/political history of what motivated him to get involved. He will be covering the squatting campaign that took place between 1972-1974 in Ashley Road Bristol, and direct action taken like […] Read More =>

Blog

Street Farming

Coming soon: £12 • 262 pages • 215mm x 140mm Isbn: 978-1-906477-44-8 • Available April 18, 2014 Distributor: Central Books • 0208 986 4854 • www.centralbooks.com Sales: Richard Jones • 0117 972 0645 • richard@tangentbooks.co.uk Stephen E Hunt has produced the definitive account of Street Farm […] Read More =>

From Bristol with Love

Two good interviews. First one is an interview with Noel in 2011 just after the August Riots. He talks about his involvement in the Hartcliffe Riots, 1981 Riots and football hooliganism. The second is an interview with Dean Forest from the Forest of Dean. He talks about local history, 'Who killed […] Read More =>
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