Study Days

Mutual Restructure

Thu 26 September 2019

Outdoor Bowls Pavilion
Barking Park
Longbridge Road
Barking IG11 8TA

Organised by The White House and Create London

Mutual Restructure . A Study Day on Community Governance, Participatory Decision-Making & Cooperative Practices. . The White House and Create London invite you to join us for a series of exploratory conversations and practical workshops to examine the challenges we face in generating and supporting greater participatory control over resources and community life.

Organised by the White House Dagenham and hosted by Company Drinks, this event is part of a series of exploratory conversations and practical workshops to examine the challenges we face in generating and supporting greater participatory control over resources and community life.

The day will bring together groups, organisations and individuals who demonstrate different processes of mutuality, cooperative working and participatory governance. Together we will explore different models, approaches and challenges to decentralise decision-making across social, cultural, economic and political spheres and systems.


The day will:

  • Explore different community governance models and approaches to understand where we are now and where we need to be;
  • Explore current participatory and cooperative decision-making within an arts and heritage context;
  • Undertake practical learning to develop collective and sustainable strategies.


Sign up for tickets here:


Event Contributors:

Tom Crawford (Cubitt) / Hilary Jennings (Happy Museum Project) / Siôn Whellons / Stephanie Gamauf / Kathrin Böhm (The Centre for Plausible Economies) / Verity-Jane Keefe and others



10:00-10:30am – Arrive and refreshments

10:30-10:45am – Intro and welcome

10:45-11:00am – Ice breaker activity led by Verity-Jane Keefe

11am-12pm– Convening on arts & heritage models

Individual presentations x5 (10mins each)

Speakers: Kathrin Böhm (The Centre for Plausible Economies), Tom Crawford (Cubitt), Denise Bowler (Constituent Museum / Whitworth Art Gallery), Hilary Jenkins (Happy Museum), Lucy Lopez (Independent Curator)

12:00-12:30pm – Group Discussion with presenters on arts & heritage models

Chair: Susanne Burns

12:00-12:15pm – Refreshment Break

12:15-12:45pm – Convening on housing models

Individual presentations x2 (15mins each)

Speakers: Kate Batchelor (Senior Regeneration Manager, Peabody, Thamesmead), Gemma Leigh Holyoak (Community Led Housing London)

12:45-1:05pm – Group Discussion with presenters on housing models

Chair: Verity-Jane Keefe


1:05-2:00pm – Lunch


2:00-3:00pm – Workshop led by Stephanie Gamauf

Building inclusive spaces: Engagement beyond the ‘usual suspects’ (60mins)

– Strategies for participatory co-creation

– Community engagement and inclusion

– Privilege and positioning and how it influences our work with communities

3:00-3:20pm – Refreshment Break

3:20-4:20pm – Workshop led by Siôn Whellens

Co-operative approaches (60mins)

-Overview of processes used within co-operatives, exploring people-focused work practices

-How these can be applied to approaches within various sectors

4:20-4:50pm – Group discussion – Summing up of the day (30mins)

Led by: Susanne Burns

4:50-5:30pm – Drinks and chatting

Cubitt: Tom Crawford

Cubitt is an artist-led co-operative based in Islington, London. Founded by a group of artists in 1991, Cubitt consists of a non-profit gallery, 32 artist studios and a locally-focused education programme.

Tom Crawford is a Cubitt Artist and Co-chair of the Public Programmes Committee. Tom Crawford works with moving image, painting, print and installation to explore the politics of urbanism and the class antagonisms that go hand in hand. His video work draws on methods of abstraction, using found and original footage to construct narratives that consider nostalgia and its role in distorting the imaginable future. He completed an MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths’ University in 2011 and has since contributed to exhibitions and projects with Syndicate, Tenderpixel, Art Night, Southwark Park Galleries, South Kiosk, Bloc Projects, and g39.


Happy Museum Project: Hilary Jennings

Hilary Jennings is Director of the Happy Museum Project supports museums, and other cultural institutions to experiment with practice which supports the wellbeing of people, place and planet. She is Co-Chair of the Transition Network, a charitable organisation supporting a global movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world – the organisation has recently moved to a shared governance model using consensual decision making. She is also a trustee of Bioregional (founder of One Planet Living) and an active member of a local Neighbourhood Forum, Healthy Streets group and Transition initiative in Tooting SW London.


Siôn Whellons

Siôn Whellens works for Calverts, a worker coop in East London doing creative design and print. He moonlights as a cooperative organiser, working with new and established groups, taking a coop approach to securing work, housing and space. He has worked with several collectives of artists, arts graduates and activists. Siôn also co-designed SolidFund (the Worker Coop Solidarity Fund), a resource for worker coop education, co-mentoring, skills development and organisation


Stephanie Gamauf

‍Stephanie Gamauf is a Community Organiser based in Brixton. Her background is in international development and participatory democracy. In the past she has been involved in community capacity building projects with NGOs and UN programmes in Mexico and Kenya.


The Centre for Plausible Economies: Kathrin Böhm 
Everybody is exposed to economic forces, but nobody seems to be in control. Responding to this frustration with upbeat pragmatism, the Centre for Plausible Economies brings together artistic action and critical thinking to reclaim the economy. It is as a new platform for mapping and reimagining economic systems, in the arts and beyond. The Centre for Plausible Economies was initiated by Kathrin Böhm and Kuba Szreder and opened on 08 June 2018.


Kathrin Böhm is a London based artist whose collaborative work focuses on the collective (re-)production of public space, trade as public realm and the everyday as a starting point for culture.

Kathrin is a founding member of the international artist group Myvillages (Myv), the artist initiative Keep it Complex – Make it Clear (KIC), art and architecture collective Public Works (pw), and the Centre for Plausible Economies. She set up the Haystacks series in 2013 and arts enterprise Company Drinks in 2014.


Verity-Jane Keefe

Verity-Jane Keefe is a visual artist working predominantly in the public realm to explore the complex relationship between people and place. Her work encompasses working with moving image, text, installation and utilises archival and research methodologies.

She is interested in the role of the artist within urban regeneration and how experiential practice can touch upon and raise ambitions of existing communities.  She has an ongoing, accidental love affair with Outer London and has been working in Barking and Dagenham for over 10 years on self-initiated commissions, including The Mobile Museum, and in partnership with the borough’s Heritage, Planning Policy and Regeneration departments. Her practice celebrates the everyday qualities of places, uncovering and celebrating, documenting, archiving and responding to changes within the built environment and setting up platforms to share experiences of these changes.

Verity-Jane Keefe is carrying out a year-long residency with Create London & The White House, taking place across Dagenham’s Becontree Estate through 2019, as part of Living Together.



The study day is part of of Living Together, a project by artist Verity-Jane Keefe and Create London celebrating the centenary of Dagenham’s Becontree Estate in 2021. Living Together is being developed over 2019 through a year-long residency with The White House.


About The White House

The White House, was set up in 2016 on Dagenham’s Becontree estate by Create London. We invite artists to live and work in the house, exploring new ways to collaborate with the local community, by becoming their neighbours. We host a public programme led by residents that ranges from poetry to painting to gardening. Our programme acts as a tool to address social, political and culturally relevant issues to our site and community, adopting approaches that challenge traditional hierarchies and aim to democratise decision-making across programming and how we run the house.

The White House is a project currently run by Create London, the building is owned by London borough of Barking and Dagenham.


About Create London

Create London is an arts organisation dedicated to making long-term projects that are useful to society. We curate, commission and produce work that reimagines the role of the artist in the city, and find new and often surprising ways for art to become part of daily life.

It works with artists to set up new enterprises and organisations in collaboration with local communities. This means working outside of galleries and museums, taking on unlikely sites and establishing new forms of infrastructure for art, past examples of which include a soft play centre; a job brokerage service; a spa; a community-minded art school; a new form of artist housing; and a drinks company.