Kensal Rise Has A Story – Brent Biennial Zoom talk

Last month I did a Zoom talk with the wonderful Kensal Rise Library about the project we’ve been working on for Brent 2020 London Borough of Culture as part of the inaugral Brent Biennial.

I started work on Kensal Rise Has A Story in January 2020 with research in the Brent Archives based in Willesden Green Library, looking at the old Ordnance Survey Maps of the area noting the phases of change that came with the railways. I also looked at resonant news stories from the past and the maps and listings published in the Borough of Willesden Guides of the 1920’s and 30’s.

After scoping out the area on foot, I met with Willesden Local History Society and embarked on walks with some of their members and also recorded some sit down interviews, using old OS maps and archive images to navigate the conversation.

I then interviewed members of the broader community, some who took me on walks, some I interviewed in their homes, others in gardens and allotments, even at work. During lockdown I conducted two of the interviews remotely.

Margaret and Stephanie from Kensal Rise Library provided memorable contributions with their recollections of the campaigns to save this essential hub of the community. They also delved into the deeper history of the area and the connections with All Souls College, Oxford which stretch back to the Middle Ages.

It’s been such a fantastic experience to be able to record the voices of Kensal Rise and embed them in the streets.

Brent Biennial runs until the end of January 2021.

Here’s a playlist of the audio recordings on the sound trail:

And here’s an interview I did with Art Review about the project.

John Rogers Kensal Rise

photo by Roy Mehta (c)


  1. Pingback: Kensal Rise Has A Story - psychogeographic sound trail - the lost byway

  2. Ellen   •  

    Loved hearing about the walk as I live near by Ellen

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