Accessibility statement

“It's a very unstable society that we've built”: precarity, memory and history in UK DIY music spaces

Thursday 19 November 2020, 6.00PM

Speaker(s): Kirsty Fife (UCL & Leeds Conservatoire)

Prior to 2020, music journalism reported on the opening of UK-based DIY grassroots music spaces including DIY Space for London, Glasgow Autonomous Space, Partisan (based in Manchester) and others (Amin, 2017; Welsh, 2015; Phillips and Mokoena, 2018; Moloney, 2019). The development of these new spaces (in addition to well established autonomous spaces and social centres including the 1 in 12 Club in Bradford, Wharf Chambers in Leeds and the Cowley Club in Brighton) was viewed as a sign of the health of DIY music networks in the 2010s. Tayyab Amin refers to how such spaces display “a DIY attitude that prioritises communal support, autonomy and self-sufficiency over metrics such as popularity and capital” (Amin, 2017).

The impact of the covid-19 pandemic has been a sharp reminder of the precarity of the networks and spaces that nurture such creative community. The combination of short-lived spaces, close knit networks, fleeting creative collaborations and easily discarded archival traces typifies many grassroots communities, and presents a threat to the persistence of any archives and histories from this period. Though the above combination is well known to previous generations, the intersection of these issues with the use of social media, born digital record creation and a global pandemic presents additional risks. This presentation explores how these intersections of precarity affect the ability to create, organise and share traces of individual or collective involvement in DIY music.

Please book tickets via Eventbrite: Joining information will be circulated by 3pm on Thursday 19th November. 


Location: Zoom

Admission: Free to attend but booking is required