Becontree Broadcasting Station Launch: Listening with Brian Eno, Sumayya Vally, Joe Namy and DJ Tati

Online 6 Nov 2021 Free

How do we experience our neighbourhoods through sound?

To celebrate the launch of Becontree Broadcasting Station, an online community radio station serving the Becontree Estate and Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Serpentine 2021 Pavilion architect Sumayya Vally, artists Brian Eno and Joe Namy, and DJ Tati host a listening session at Valence Library. Featuring a selection of tracks, archival recordings and sound works that create alternative ways of experiencing changing cities through collective listening. Eno, Vally and Namy will each present a variety of music, sound archives and broadcasts, to create alternative narratives of the city and unravel layers of sonic histories. Becontree’s DJ Tati will play sound mixes throughout the session.

The intimate event is open to all but with limited capacity. Register here.

There will be a live stream broadcast online at on 6 November, 2021 from 3pm to 5pm.

Becontree Broadcasting Station is a partnership between Serpentine and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham as part of Radio Ballads. We are an open and inclusive radio platform for the local community, and offer free workshops, and a chance to develop your own radio show, no experience necessary. If you have an idea for a radio programme, DJing, podcasts, or are just interested in audio production and radio, please contact [email protected] to get involved.

The event is part of Listening to the City and brings together contributors to the programme.

About the Artists

Brian Eno

Brian Eno is a musician, producer, visual artist and activist, who first came to prominence as co-founder of Roxy Music before releasing solo works and collaborating with the likes of Harold Budd, David Byrne, David Bowie, U2, Laurie Anderson & Coldplay among others. His visual experiments with light and video have been seen in installations all over the globe. He is a founding member of the Long Now Foundation, trustee of Client Earth and patron of Videre est Credere.

Joe Namy

Joe Namy is an artist, educator, and composer, often working collaboratively and across mediums to expose the social constructs of music and organized sound. Through his work, Namy continues to explore the politics and gender dynamics of bass, the color and tones of militarization, the migration patterns of instruments and songs, and the complexities of translation – from language to language, from score to sound, from drum to dance. Joe Namy is the inaugural artist in residence for Becontree Broadcasting Station at Valence Library in Dagenham.

Sumayya Vally

Sumayya Vally’s design, research and pedagogical practice is committed to finding expression for hybrid identities and contested territories. She is in love with Johannesburg. It serves as her laboratory for finding speculative histories, futures, archaeologies, and design languages; with the intent to reveal the invisible. Her work is often forensic, and draws on performance, the supernatural, the wayward and the overlooked as generative places of history and work. Her work around narrative, identity and memory in the city have admitted her into a host of conceptual and investigatory projects, including a position as assistant curator and film producer for La Biennale di Venezia 2014 (South African Pavilion). Vally has recently been selected as a finalist (top 3) for the Civitella Ranieri Foundation architecture residency prize (2019) and was a finalist for the Rolex Mentorship and Protege award (2018/2019). She was recently named to the TIME100 Next list celebrating 100 emerging leaders shaping the future. Vally is presently based between Johannesburg and London as the lead designer for the Serpentine Pavilion 2021.

About Becontree Broadcasting Station

Since 2019 Serpentine has partnered with New Town Culture on Radio Ballads, a series of collaborative artist residencies and commissions in Barking and Dagenham (LBBD) that examine the histories and future of care and work. New Town Culture is a pioneering project led by LBBD which explores how artistic and cultural experiences can reframe the work of social care to support adults and children using social care services. From 2021 to 2022, Serpentine and LBBD’s inaugural Artist in Residence Joe Namy, will be facilitating workshops with local communities to design and create the Becontree Broadcasting Station for Valence Library. This project is supported by Barking and Dagenham Council for Becontree Forever, a programme marking the centenary year of the UK’s largest social housing estate.

Becontree Broadcasting Station is being established as part of the 2021 Serpentine Pavilion and the accompanying programme Listening to the City. Pavilion architect, Sumayya Vally, has placed fragments of the Pavilion at sites across London that influenced her design. The fragments sited in Barking and Dagenham draws on and honours the legacy of Radio Ballads and the Serpentine Civic team’s legacy of collaboration in Barking and Dagenham. Made for the radio station (a very important form of public space), the podium will support the daily operations of the Becontree Broadcasting Station, and create a place for gathering and sharing of stories. The fragment was constructed to be used flexibly, as a single piece or divided into smaller elements. It honours the histories of places and people in the neighbourhood with its design and programming that engages with the communities in the surrounding area.

The radio equipment for the station is being donated to Barking and Dagenham Council, where they will remain as a legacy of the 2021 Serpentine Pavilion and Radio Ballads.

About Listening to the City

Listening to the City engages with a set of sonic landscapes from selected London neighbourhoods, paying attention to existing and lost spaces of gathering and belonging across the city. The programme was conceived and developed by Serpentine Education and Civic Projects for the Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Sumayya Vally, Counterspace.


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