The loo, the lav, the Johnny John, the bowl of filth, the water closet, the shitter, the powder room.

A place of rest & relaxation, relief, contemplation, cogitation, deliberation, refreshment, delight, despair, amusement, celebration, disappointment, inspiration, excitement, discovery, recovery…

A sanctuary, a love nest, a drug den, a private place to void one’s bowls.

We’ve all been there.

Toilets of London is a project to collect reviews, anecdotes, historical and contemporary trivia and not so trivia relating to toilets in London. Who know’s who else’s botty has graced the seat when one sits to do one’s business in a public or semi public convenience of some considerable heritage…


no phone


Idea for a practice-based community arts/social practice research project*

This project would involve working for a period of time with a number of arts organisations/venues. These would include:

(1) an organisation with a track record of delivering a top quality community arts programme. E.g. Turner Contemporary (lots of other examples but this is one I know a bit about).

(2) an organisation/venue seeking to develop its community arts programme and in a good position to do this (good relationships with community groups, funding in place, space and resources to run activity).

The project would involve organising to work between these two (& possibly more) organisations. Key aims would be:

(i) to gain expertise in delivering community arts activity

(ii) to evaluate the community arts programme of the organisation with a track record of delivering excellent community arts

(iii) to bring the skills and understanding gained working with organisation (1) to working with organisation (2). Work with organisation (1) would primarily be about gaining skills and understanding in a support role, with limited responsibility for delivering activity. Work with organisation (2) would be about testing those skills and that understanding in a position of greater responsibility.

Organisation (1) would provide ongoing mentoring for the period of work at organisation (2).

The project would involve keeping a reflective journal throughout which would feed into written evaluation of organisation (1)’s community arts programme and evaluation of the period of work with organisation (2).

This proposal could integrate very well with Art’s Council England’s Creative People and Places project and the Fun Palaces initiative.

*could be a Phd…


some culture I’ve enjoyed in 2016

(in no particular order)

You Should Have Seen the Other Guy’s Land of the Three Towers at Silchester Estate Community Centre – http://www.youshouldseetheotherguy.com/land-of-the-three-towers.html

Cap a Pie’s The Town Meeting at Collective Encounters’ Rediscovering the Radical – http://www.cap-a-pie.co.uk/the-town-meeting/

Jerome Bel’s GALA at Bernie Grant Arts Centre, part of LIFT’s programme of activity in Tottenham – http://londondance.com/articles/reviews/jerome-bel-gala-bernie-grant-arts-centre/

Love (Without Capital) at Showroom Gallery – http://www.theshowroom.org/events/love-without-capital-imagining-relations-after-ubi

London Stories at Battersea Arts Centre – https://www.bac.org.uk/content/42287/to_archive/london_stories_made_by_migrants

Kaleider’s The Money at London Guildhall – http://kaleider.com/projects/the-money/

Jamal Harewood’s The Privileged at Camden People’s Theatre – https://harewooo.com/the-privileged/

New National Anthems

Me & Greg Fraser Maclaren are doing a thing at Hoxton Gallery on Tuesday and Wednesday, 12:00 – 22:00

England Britain has changed its tune or is changing its tune. We need to compose that tune song ourselves before we find ourselves with a song in our heads not ours that we can’t stop singing.

A collection of instruments and recording gear will be available for composition and recording of new National Anthems. If you don’t play, someone will be there to play what you want them to. Make any sound, song or speech there and then, or work on something over the two days.

These will be the National Anthems of this moment, a lasting testament to the spirit of the times.

Facebook event here – https://www.facebook.com/events/1742183492703323/

new national anthems flyer

How to organise an empowering open meeting. Radical think tank training document July 2016

Excellent guide document from Radical Think Tank – ‘How to organise an empowering open meeting’

Radical Think Tank

By Roger Hallam

We all agree that we want to create empowering situations where people want to take collective action to make a better world. This “how to” document takes the radical view which is supported by overwhelming evidence from many fields of psychological and social research, that people get empowered by doing it for themselves – not being told what to think and do. Or as a Spanish activist mate told me “people know it sucks” – the task is to create spaces where they can gain the collective identity and confidence to do something about it.

Concretely this means a massive change from the old progressive left/activist way of doing things – talks and speeches are out – small group discussion and practice exercises and role plays are in. My own research shows that people coming out of the participatory type meetings laid out below are 80% empowered…

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ReSpace is a not-for-profit organisation set up to open up disused spaces for a wonderful and diverse range of community, artistic and social enterprise activity.

ReSpace is currently based at The Hive on Kingsland Rd.

I’m currently working with ReSpace on a proposal to take on a HUGE space in Lambeth.

Drop me a line if you’re interested to find out more.

& here’s a petition that’s well worth signing – https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/waste-of-space-or-sense-of-place

The Heathrow 13

In July 2015, 13 activists occupied the Northern runway at Heathrow airport as a protest against airport expansion.

In February 2016 they were found guilty of aggravated trespass and being unlawfully airside and sentenced to 6 weeks prison, suspended for 12 months, 120-180 hours community service and £500-£1000 costs.

Inspired by and with the support of the Heathrow 13, this project will create a celebratory performance event with activist intent.

The project aims to raise awareness about some surprising facts about aviation in the UK and to inspire audiences to join the campaign against airport expansion, as well as inspiring audiences to take action on climate change more widely. The ambition is to create a performance to tour the UK.


Following successful work-in-progress showings at Central School of Speech and Drama and the Cambridge Junction I’m now looking for performers to join a small company for the next phase of research and development. Drop me a line if you’re interested – hugochapman[at]hotmail.co.uk

great polar bear shot

I’ve been wanting to make something to tour round the UK for a good while now…

There are some projects by other artists that feel particularly relevant to me just now, on day 2 of this new political reality.

Tassos Stevens’ A Better Conversation is about having mutually respectful conversations with people who have different political views.

My feeling is that this is a very useful thing to be doing. It’s not about trying to impose any particular political understanding – it’s about listening and it’s about cultivating constructive political discourse. Right now there is a need to understand why people voted leave. The process of asking questions and listening unlocks things. Some of them may be things we don’t agree with. But stay with that person. Explore how and why that person’s views are different to your own. I believe this is how we advance the progressive political agenda.

A Better Conversation isn’t necessarily something that can or needs to tour – all of us can – and hopefully are -having these kinds of conversations in our communities. And there are quite a few networks out there that can support this kind of work. And it’s happening in local politics already – when councilors of all stripes go door-knocking, or set up a table on the local high street. Except the Tories. Their listening is toxic. But it’s background thinking for something I want to do that is about touring the UK –

I want to form a band and touring the UK, engaging people in political conversation and writing songs inspired by those conversations.

Anyone want to join me..?

(Hannah Nicklin’s Songs For Breaking Britain is an amazing project and an inspiration. I’m in touch with Hannah about this/doing something similar)

This referendum result confirms a few things about how I want to develop my practice – and maybe a couple of priorities for socially and politically engaged arts practice in general


There is intergenerational work to be done

referrendum the age gap

The older generation voted for a future the younger generation don’t want. I’m interested in creating spaces in which generations can talk to each other seriously, and respectfully about this and a range of other issues (housing, for example).

Tassos Stevens’ A Better Conversation is a useful guide in terms of how these kinds of conversations can be facilitated.


There is much work to be done to reach out regionally.

referrendum regional

There’s a striking similarity between this and the map of the 2015 election result. Both of the places I can call ‘home’ (London and Cambridge) are islands of progressive politics. There’s a fairly urgent need to take work outside this bubble.

I think regional & rural touring of the arts is vital in this respect.



There is intercultural work to be done.

I hear that when asked to explain their reasoning, many leave voters gave answers that are essentially racist. This can’t be ignored.



UBI LARP (Live Action Role Play about Universal Basic Income)‏

love without capital

I took part in this on 21st May.

It was about imagining and experiencing a world in which a universal basic income has been put in place. The larp focuses on the social and community relations that UBI could/would enable.

More info here –


& here


The organisers are putting together a documentation/resource for anyone wanting to run the larp. Will share when this is ready. It would be great to find more opportunities to run it I think.