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Peckham Peace Wall

Southwark residents contribute to a positive relic addressing last year's riots

Last year riots spread through the UK after the death of Mark Duggan. In the days following, Peckham became an epicenter of unrest and despondency. The local community clubbed together and showed its support for their area with what has become the Peckham Peace Wall.

In a salute to social harmony, the Peckham Peace Wall is the positive result of direct community action. Located at Peckham Space, an art venue in Southwark, the piece began when local members marked their love of the area on post-it notes stuck to a boarded up Poundland. With the help of a local theatre group, Peckham Shed, and creative collective Garudio Studiage, this has become an eloquent and permanent art piece. Dazed spoke to Emily Druiff, director of Peckham Space, about the Peace Wall.

Dazed Digital: What was the aftermath of last year's riots in Peckham?
Emily Druiff: Some businesses were hit hard by the riots and it has taken some time for the insurance to come through but we are glad to say that they have been restored.

DD: How did this project come into existence?
Emily Druiff: The project has come from the ground as it were. Peckham Peace Wall was an idea that was initiated by Peckham Shed, a community theatre company, after the riot clean up on August 2011. Members of the public were invited to contribute to a boarded up shop front outside Poundland by adding post-it notes on the topic of why they loved Peckham. This grew in size rapidly (accommodating over 4,000 messages calling for peace on the streets). When the board was due to be taken down and for business to return to normal people wanted to keep the messages by popular request. This is when Peckham Shed came to asked us if we could maintain the project. Peckham Space then approached a local design collective, Garudio Studioage, who has devised a collaborative solution to transform the project into a permanent public artwork, which will launch Peckham Peace Month.

DD: What is your favourite aspect of the piece?
Emily Druiff: I love the fact that this is a project that has grown out of people’s passion for the area and the need to keep the streets a safe place to be. 

Photography John Clare