A programme of art, architecture and infrastructure to mark the centenary of the UK’s biggest council housing estate

Photograph of the Becontree Estate in East London.
Photograph of the Becontree Estate in East London.

Brian Eno, Sumayya Vally, and Joe Namy

Becontree Broadcasting Station Launch

On rotation this week at 1pm, 5pm, and 8pm
Duration: 2 hours

The inaugural launch of the Becontree Broadcasting Station, a partnership between Serpentine Galleries and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham as part of Radio Ballads, with a special livestream listening session with Serpentine 2021 Pavilion architect Sumayya Vally and artists Brian Eno and Joe Namy recorded on 6 November, 2021.

This listening session at Valence Library features a selection of tracks, archival recordings and sound works that suggest an alternative way to experience our changing cities through collective listening. Eno, Vally and Namy each present a series of sounds comprising music, personal and public archives and broadcasts, to create alternative genealogies and narratives of the city that unravel layers of sonic histories. Vibes will be provided by Becontree’s DJ Tati.

The live audience for the listening session was made up of community groups and residents of Barking and Dagenham.

If you have an idea for a radio program, DJing, podcasts, or are just interested in audio production and radio, please contact jnamy@lbbd.gov.uk to get involved.

Brian Eno is a musician, producer, visual artist, 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 (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.

Sumayya Vally (b. 1990, South Africa) carries an obsession for Johannesburg and 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). Sumayya 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.

Sumayya’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. She is presently based between Johannesburg and London as the lead designer for the Serpentine Pavilion 2021.

Photograph of the Becontree Estate in East London.

The Library Sessions


On rotation this week at noon and 7pm

The first episode of The Library Sessions features DaisyPm a young singer based in East London. Shot in the new Idris Elba film studios at Barking and Dagenham College, Daisy brings her soulful vibes to the screen performing all original material.

Watch the Library Sessions here: https://youtu.be/tp22WCv7gN8

Photograph of the Becontree Estate in East London.

New Town Culture Podcast

Identity and Culture in Social Work (What is Culture?)

On rotation this week at 9am and 4pm
Duration: 1 hour

'Culture' means so many different things and can be quite intimidating as a term. In social care, ‘culture’ often refers to cultural identity e.g. ethnicity and gender. Here we talk about culture in terms of creativity and the things we produce as we live our lives: cooking, sewing, rapping, painting.

Youth Offending workers Lonnie Robinson and Nelly Henshaw, artist and social worker Marley Starskey Butler and artist Paul Crook discuss how our creativity emerges in our professional work and how these cultural interests can be used as tools in our work with people in social care. The podcast was created by artist Hannah Kemp-Welch.

For more info visit newtownculture.org

Photograph of the Becontree Estate in East London.

Interview: Noura Haddad

Alderman Jones’s House

On rotation this week at 6am, 11am, 10pm
Duration: 1 hour

An interview with Noura Haddad, one of the key organizers who put together the exhibition in Alderman Jones’s House which opened to the public 1 – 30 September 2021. The house was transformed into a place where residents, communities and visitors came together to reflect on how the Becontree has evolved and debate how it should develop its buildings, streets, parks and neighbourhoods in the future.

In recognition and celebration of the life of Alderman Fred Jones, who lived on a banjo on the Becontree Estate, and his contribution to the social, cultural and civic life of Barking and Dagenham, we will be hosting a series of exhibitions about the Becontree Estate, including research work of the London Metropolitan University School of Architecture Postgraduate Architecture Unit 14 and Undergraduate Studio 4.

The exhibition, which incorporates archival documents recognising the life and work of Councillor Alderman Jones and an interview with colleagues who knew him, has been curated and designed by Pierre d’Avoine and Pereen d’Avoine with Noura.

The exhibition also presents research studies and design proposals by students in Unit 14 and Studio 4:

Unit 14 Exhibition: Learning from the River Roding and Mad about Barking and Dagenham, focusses on work produced during academic years 2018–19 and 2019–20. Research and design proposals were made, which explore the making of architecture and an inclusive city; housing, public realm and green spaces, both in the context of the Becontree Estate and elsewhere in the borough within Barking and Dagenham’s expansive regeneration programme.

Studio 4 Exhibition: Liveness curated by Ludwig Willis Architects explores notions of settlement and neighbourhood on the Becontree Estate and the idea of the ‘Garden City’ as a juxtaposition of urbanism and wilderness, as opposed to a city of gardens (suburbia). The exhibition showcases student research and design proposals for the Becontree Estate during academic year 2019–20.

Photograph of the Becontree Estate in East London.

Assembly Mixtape Club

Listening Reflections

On rotation this week at 10am, 3pm, 11pm
Duration: 1 hours

An audio collage from the Mixtape Assembly Club, a series of workshops run by Joe Namy at the White House, for young people transitioning from care into independent living in Barking and Dagenham.

Followed by mixes from DJ Tati.