Reclaiming regeneration as a positive, community-led cultural act that protects existing residents and businesses by placing their rights first.
Regenerating Regeneration LEITH is a community conversation about how the ongoing regeneration of Leith is affecting local people, community groups and businesses. It is an independent and safe space to speak openly and honestly about whether regeneration is a good thing and whether it benefits everyone in the area.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME.
Arts and culture plays a key part in regeneration and it is clearly an important part of the regeneration agenda in Leith. But is it being employed democratically as a way of enabling everyone to contribute and express their hopes and fears, or used as a tool for state, local government agencies, creative industries businesses, developers and other private interests, or perhaps it is a bit of both?
Culture can be used to enable grassroots communities and individuals to stimulate and lead development that is in their interests but it can also be used, in extreme cases, to gentrify areas and for artwashing - a process in which art used as a veneer to disguise the interests of powerful and influential institutions and individuals and mislead people.
This conversation will explore how the people of Leith feel about what's going on in the area right now. This is not another "community consultation", "blueprint" or "design charrette". Tensions are running high, particularly around the ongoing redevelopment of sites along Leith Walk. This event asks people to speak freely and hopes to build new alliances around clear actions and targetted campaigning that is genuinely grassroots and self-organising.
The conversation is hosted by Stephen Pritchard - an organiser for the Movement for Cultural Democracy, a researcher in gentrification and cultural activism and a community artist.
It is one of a series of conversations commissioned by the Movement for Cultural Democracy around elements of our cultures that are not addressed adequately or at all by the state and its agents.