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.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.