Clays Lane Live Archive - Adelita Husni-Bey

The Clays Lane Live Archive exhibition and event series at Supplement and the Bethnal Green Library marks the culmination of a four-year long research project by Adelita Husni-Bey, with invited curation by Shama Khanna. Working with ex-residents the live archive maps the history of the Clays Lane housing co-operative, its founding in 1982 and its demolition in 2007 ahead of the regeneration work planned for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The exhibition is a timely platform for the presentation of materials collected by the former-residents of Clays Lane and Husni-Bey from before and after the eviction process began. The exhibition highlights the disparity between the lives of housing co-op’s residents compared to the weight of power and accompanying rhetoric of ‘faster, stronger, higher’ which arrived in Newham in the form of the Olympic juggernaut. Recalling TS Elliot’s poetry, the language used by the Olympic Development Authority speaks of the site of the Clays Lane estate as ‘a wasteland’ ripe for investment and development. This ideologically undemocratic attitude sets up a hierarchy between the indiscriminate power of capital, and the contributions of a community defined, at best, as invisible.

The exhibition will feature material from the collections of former-residents including; zines and ephemera donated by the band Dead Dog Mountain formed by residents of the co-op in the late 1980s, John Sole’s technical drawings of the Estate made by counting the bricks along each side of the co-op buildings; Julian Cheyne’s minute documentation of the members’ collective challenge to the compulsory purchase order registered in 2007, alongside other ‘Clayslaners’’ personal testimonies filmed by Theo Berton, and a play conceived and acted by Dexter Hanoomansingh (performances will take place at Bethnal Green Library between Sat 11 - Thu 16 Aug). Seen together as part of the Clays Lane Live Archive these examples constitute acts of resistance which still have relevance as the claims of the Games’ Legacy await to be proven.
Clays Lane Live Archive - Adelita Husni-Bey


Event Title: Clays Lane Live Archive - Adelita Husni-Bey
Postcode: 31 Temple St, London E2 6QQ
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