11 August 2011

After the Riot, Peckham Builds a Love Wall

One of the many areas in London hit by the recent riots was the slice of South East London which goes by the name of Peckham.  Over the years the place has become almost a byword for inner city problems in the UK and there is no doubt that the area has its issues.  Yet the real people of Peckham made their voices heard in the aftermath of the riot in a creative and thought provoking way.

On the smashed and boarded up window of Poundland (for those of you out of the UK this is a chain of shops where nothing costs over a pound but you probably guessed that!) a few people began to stick notes explaining in a few words Why We Love Peckham.

It wasn't long before the wall became a riot - of color! By the evening the wall was covered in hundreds of messages of goodwill - a positive indication that Peckham will rise again.

The riots were something which shocked the nation – and the rest of the world.  This show of unity by Peckham’s diverse communities serves as a reminder that the people can, do and will stand united in the face of civil unrest and havoc created by a minority.

While many questions about the riots need to be answered this spontaneous act of public art by the real people of Peckham shows that for every rioter intent on destroying their own environment there are many more who will not allow this to happen.  Hats off to the people of Peckham!