Becontree Broadcasting Station
Serpentine Galleries will run a series of Radio Ballads workshops with local communities to design and create the Becontree Broadcasting Station for Valence Library. As part of the programme of workshops, an Artist in Residence will be employed by Barking and Dagenham Council for the centenary year to facilitate activities and engage artists and residents of the estate in the development of the radio station.
The building of the Becontree Broadcasting Station will be supported through the design of a bespoke off-site piece from the 2021 Serpentine Pavilion, also described by the architect Sumayya Vally as a ‘fragment’. This fragment will function as a supporting structure in the daily operations of the station, and create a place for gathering, sharing of stories, and hosting everyday meetings and conversations. The fragment is designed to honour histories of places and people in the neighbourhood and further engage with the communities that surround the site.
The 2021 Pavilion fragment and radio station equipment for the station will be donated to Barking and Dagenham, where it will remain as a legacy of the Radio Ballads programme.
Radio Ballads is part of New Town Culture, a pioneering programme of artistic and cultural activity taking place in adult and children’s social care across the entire borough. This is a Cultural Impact Award winning project, part of London Borough of Culture, a Mayor of London initiative. New Town Culture responds to the incredible stories, knowledge and skills of the residents of Barking and Dagenham, delivering a programme of workshops, exhibitions, radio broadcasts, live performances and courses targeted at people using social care services in our borough. Working closely with social care professionals and artists, the project hopes to unlock the value of art and culture for all our communities. Its ambition is to support social workers and carers to try out new ways of working to enhance the brilliant work they already do.