I was living in Ladbroke Grove at the time of Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017, and studying at the Royal College of Art. The RCA communications department was based in the new White City campus, a few blocks away from Grenfell Tower. Shocked by the failure of the institution to mobilise its local campus, I co-founded RCA Justice4Grenfell Solidarity group with three peers.
In partnership with Justice4Grenfell (J4G), we facilitated collaborative ‘United Voices’ making workshops at the university and in local community centres in the lead up to the 1 year anniversary of Grenfell Tower fire. The workshops brought together local residents, RCA staff and students, local activists and individuals from across London to share space, share experience and collaborate on powerful material to amplify voices. The outcomes were tied to lampposts, pasted on vans, worn, taken on silent walks and can still be seen on the streets and in windows in the area.
The RCA community continues to nurture relationships formed during these sessions. At the five year anniversary Silent Walk for Grenfell Tower Fire in June 2022, I walked with the students of the current RCA x J4G Solidarity Group, who had collaborated locally to create stickers, banners and posters for the walk.
RCA x J4G Solidarity Group was founded in 2017 by Kate Ducker, Natanya Mark, Rachel Davey, Rachel Sale (RCA); Tasha Brade, Moyra Samuels (J4G). Film by Rachel Sale.
This experience influenced the formation of F.A.T. Studio, of which Kate Ducker, Natanya Mark, Rachel Davey and Rachel Sale are directors, along with Sophie Gate and Nathan Sherwood. More on F.A.T. Studio here.