A programme of art, culture and new infrastructure to reimagine the future of the UK’s biggest council housing estate


Serpentine Galleries and Joe Namy

Becontree Broadcasting Station

Valence Library

Becontree Broadcasting Station is an online community radio station serving the Becontree Estate and LBBD (London Borough of Barking and Dagenham). We are an open and inclusive radio platform for the local community, offering free workshops, access to radio equipment, and an opportunity to develop your own radio show with no experience necessary. We love music shows, talk shows, radio dramas, interview shows – so, if you have an idea for a radio program, or want to learn more about DJing and podcasts, or are just interested in reaching the community and growing your brand, please contact Joe, jnamy@lbbd.gov.uk to get involved.

Becontree Broadcasting Station was established as part of the 2021 Serpentine Pavilion programme Listening to the City. Pavilion architect, Sumayya Vally, has placed fragments of the Pavilion at sites across London that influenced her design. The fragment that is sited in Barking and Dagenham, will support the daily operations of the Becontree Broadcasting Station, and create a place for the 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.

Since 2019 Serpentine has partnered with New Town Culture on Radio Ballads, a series of collaborative artist residencies and commissions in LBBD that examine the future and histories 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.

In 2021 - 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.

Valence Library
Becontree Avenue

Open in Maps

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.

Joe Namy (UK/Lebanon/USA) is an artist, educator, and composer, often working collaboratively and across mediums – in sound, performance, photography, text, video, and installation. Joe’s projects often focus on the social constructs of music and organised sound, such as the pageantry and geo-politics of opera, the noise laws and gender dynamics of bass, the colours and tones of militarisation, the migration patterns of instruments and songs, and the complexities of translation in all this – from language to language, from score to sound, from drum to dance.

Serpentine Galleries Radio Ballads

This project is supported by Barking & Dagenham Council.