FROM HERE Broadcasts
As part of Residency 11:11 Online, INCURSIONS was supported in producing a series of online radio broadcasts which expanded on the project, sharing its route and roots through conversation, readings and music. Each show touched on site specifics from along the walk, intending to expand outwards into other archives, pop cultures, social and civic histories and political frameworks related, but never limited to, Newcastle. Split into four chapters, these broadcasts develop a trajectory from incapacitating defeat at the hands of capitalist forces, into reimagining cities and communities of care, through counter-narration, counter-cultures and friendship.
This first chapter lays out what INCURSIONS is and what it is always attempting to do. Located in the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, INCURSIONS assumes itself as a walking forum; but here we explore the multiple possibilities in its wider reaching networks, interests and provocations.
This chapter (the first and the scrappiest!) recounts the specifics of one of our INCURSIONS walks: an event (half) held clunkily after the 2019 General Election, an epitome of defeat of the Left. Weaving in and out of this destabilising moment, we lay out the walk, the incentives and the collaborative mechanisms sustaining how we work, situating this soberingly present moment as a counter point for a new location, a different call to our cancelled future. Locating this defeat, with sounds and songs and conversation, is an attempt at conjuring a common resistance, that can be culturally and critically manifested.
FROM HERE #2 orbits questions of care and (counter)cultures, their roles in cities and their affects in forming collective resistances, tracing an unravelling of the future, reciting the time and space from 1960 to the present moment, attempting to conjure the absent collective subject as we go. From under modernist architectures of a welfare state and undoubting civic confidence, through dismantled collective capacities and class war, into the austerity of the present moment, we ask what obstructs a collective capacity to act and care. Through our conversations with artists, writers, archivists and cultural workers, we ask in what ways we can move from the incapacitating grips of fear and into a lucid collective confidence.
Contributions from Alex Niven, author of New Model Island, musician and poet, about 1960s Newcastle, socialist modernism and the blind confidence of T. Dan Smith’s provocative Labour council, as well as Clare Smith, a cultural worker in the city, whose experiences at the turn of the millennium, recounts times of increased cultural outreach, providing a trajectory for where we stand now, scrambling in austerity's schisms. Author of Island Story, JD Taylor shares a chat about communities of care and how they can and must be recognised within a wider patchwork of resistance, as well as discussion on the extitution and business as usual with activist, artist and educator, Susan Kelly, who taught us both at art school, instilling a commitment to militant political organisation, foundational to our collaboration and to our friendship.
This FROM HERE broadcast begins roughly where #2 leaves off, conjuring resistance and confidence through and in communities, exploring how counternarratives can retell histories and unearth alternative stories for our cities to, in turn, retell alternative futures.
Exploring the ways in which art practices can construct new futures in our cities and for our communities, this show turns to the other ways for telling stories, too often made forcibly obsolete within our cities. Archiving as a method for holding, preserving and presenting the histories forced into forgetting by dominant narratives, FROM HERE #3 attempts to unearth stories from under the objective concretes. Featuring a conversation with the filmmakers behind Archive for Change, an archive based in Newcastle's West End, we trace histories of regeneration and dislocation, addressing the importance and complexities of archival practices. We share more about our work, thinking about the processes of collecting and collaging we engage in as another form of archiving, to disrupt concretised and objective narratives imposed upon communities, space and place.
The final FROM HERE broadcast regresses into the sentimental realms of love and friendship, as political projects and personal joys, as modelings for new ways of being with others. In this final chapter, we turn to our own experiences of friendship and community as literal sustenance; the euphorias and the complexities, chatting about collaboration and hosting and new ways of communicating, to gather people into gatherings.
Featuring a conversation with collaborative tour de force, Abel Shah, asking each other, duo to duo, questions about collaborating and communicating, as well as chats with Natasha Eves about our own personal, lovely, challenging and deeply important networks, rooted and cemented in personal and political ruptures, in clubs, pubs, undercommons and pop cultures. There's music and memories, love letters to the spaces, times and initiatives that gather us, plus more from Dan Taylor about political empowerment through friendship, ways of forming community and the joys of the confidence produced through it.
With a foundation laid throughout the last three chapters, from abject defeat, into confidence and community, articulated through countercultures and counternarratives in this city and beyond, FROM HERE #4 ties up some loose ends, whilst leaving enough unlaced, to keep the lattices of a network open, from here and into outer worlds.