For this sad YouthDay2017 our thoughts go to the Grenfell and Manchester youths and families whose lives were shattered in a horrific way. We pray for all.
We offer to sketch in the Park at 4pm today and extended the invitation to all via twitter @circulaid
Having spent all 14-15 June preparing a first meeting with Haringey Council officials since the activities of CS4 stopped, 5-5-17, when a bullet was shot through our window while having a design session with a student who came to plan her line of clothing after her day job. She had tried to come the night before but there were too many men in front so decided not to get off the bus: she is one of the three founding members who were looking for direction aged 16 when the system had failed them in 2008=2009, and despite knowing the area and having helped to open CS4, she felt intimidated by the big group of men standing in front of the workshop.
So although we decided to blog everyday in support of developing her line and possibly motivate more behind the scene while the workshop is closed, I am sorry there was no time left for Blog creative input or anything else these past few days…
Handling the aftermath of a gunshot into a professional space is a huge task: working out the future of 8 creative community years at CS4… just writing the report in preparation of the meeting took 3 hours: it shows highlights of the Studio book where students wrote what they expected to do or did each time they visited.
The Studio book is over 50 pages, it gave everyone who entered the workshop a chance to comment, settle down and take ownership. It is history in the making.
I had hopes for a meeting leading towards cohesion and sharing hopes to work to make Haringey and Farm proud.
But for some reasons which I do not grasp the meeting was just about the building lease and the fact that I would be responsible for the cost of collateral damages created by the gunshot of window repairs and a rent for a space I am not able to use, as the area assessment report, the accountability report and occupational health report have not come in yet.
Having spent all my time pacifying the area and officials since 5-5-17, as well as try to understand what would be the best course of action for an 8 year creative endeavour bringing hope and skills in an innovative way, supporting youths, children, and women on one of the harshest London estate, it transpires so far, having spent time and efforts to connect with Haringey officials, that the plans to make the borough an inclusive prosperous borough do not include the support or development of circular economy for women or sustainable green positive models such as CS4 opened since 2009.
When CS4 opened the Frontline was an open line for youths recruitment, both young women and young men, the ladies basins were nearly on the ground, and since the workshop was closed after the gunshot, on occasional visits, I have noticed one of the men in a car coming back to the area. He had once peed in front of our shop on his own car wheel and used to shoot a fake gun to scare kids. Every time I visited the workshop there were men in front smoking, or just coming after 5 minutes I was there. I stopped by last Sunday and in front was a car: a woman then bent over into the car and her tunic was not long enough to cover her bare essentials with no sign of undergarment.
Being allergic to any kind of smoke (that was always a strength to help the youth quit smoking) makes it very hard to work behind a screen of illegal activities all recorded on a Haringey Camera… with unit holders being prevented to interact with the public as they would be entitled to.
I have informed the Management of the building about the difficult conditions, not being able to use the space during normal hours as a result and having to stop activities as a result of antisocial behaviour. I had written letters about it and never got answers.
Youths are missing on opportunities.
Women and children do not cross the road from the bus stop as a result of a constant use of the pavement by men.
So I wonder what it is like on other London Estates? or other parts of the world with similar estates?
A 14 year old volunteer for the Edinburgh Award program was not accepted in the local Hub kitchen: after checking with Haringey, 16 is the age. In the meantime her mother came to us as this was the only option for a placement within walking distance of her home, and having been part of the SEW programme herself in 2012 and gained employment as a result of advice given, she trusted CS4, although we both do not like the fact that smoke comes under the door while we are in studio, and nearly every time the youth was exposed to the illegal substance.
Within 4 months she was mugged in the nearby park with 2 friends walking home, lost her placement location due to a gunshot (which I have not explained to her as I work hard to keep positivity alive and know such news can induce trauma for life), and last week lost a friend to stabbing.
I have said something happened at the shop and we saw the 101 police note in the HUB, but I was waiting for some information before I could explain anything and also did not want to spend my time with her discussing negative behaviour or events, and we would have to work hard to make women stay positive despite all the negative male actions around us. We wish for peace to work and prosper and have to protect ourselves emotionally and physically to achieve this in one of the harshest environments.
After my visit to Haringey yesterday 15th June, I was given no reassurance or advice relating to the human factor of our position there in the aftermath of the gunshot or my concerns for the welfare of the youths on Broadwater Farm, who are denied an opportunity to advance in life as a result.
Having been told that the window broken by the gunshot is my responsibility, and that the rent in this period is too:
what am I to understand: that I should use this space and take a chance to put people- anyone- at risk, irrespectively of what has happened?
I also asked for a letter of recognition for serving the community for 8 years. A thank you from the authorities would be really welcome in this distressful time where, as a result of reckless action, thousands of hearts have been shattered…
I thought community relationships mattered…
As a professional, a letter of recommendation is essential, especially with a view to teach and PhD research to help pursue work to make a difference, adding to an academic career frame which started at Boston University, Wellesley College an MIT in 1987.
Who will account for hours spent on this matter since 5-5-17 where I have worked fulltime writing, phoning, meeting… in order to contain the story to avoid another wave of violence and give the authorities to know the story first hand to avoid unnecessary negativity?
Who in Haringey is responsible for, or going to help with, the human factor and the collateral damages?