Return of the Common Spirit

Author/publication: Stefan Szczelkun
Date: 1998 / 2018
Our Archive Ref: KCP0009/VID/1998

A video record by Stefan Szczelkun of the 10th April 1998 celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Chartist rally on Kennington Common. This celebration was organised and put on by a loose group of modern-day Chartists, led by Marianne from Kennington Park estate and Louisa (currently ElectricElephant cafe) who made many banners to hang between the trees. The video was shot on the 10th April anniversary, crash edited from camera to VHS player by camera person Ana Kolpy, and shown the same evening at a local Exploding Cinema show.

This new edit for the 170th Anniversary was shown in April 2018, again at the Exploding Cinema (still going), this time hosted in the Cinema Museum a local institution, also 20 yrs old, (now under threat) based in the old Lambeth Workhouse building.

Reproduced with the kind permission of the artist Stefan Szczelkun.

 Stefan Szczelkun is an artist who publishes books, and videos on class and culture in response to specific places or communities. Stefan lived in St Agnes Place, in Kennington Park, from 1981 – 1996, then built his own house to the North of the park in Sharsted Street, where he lived for a further ten years. During these years Stefan made various works concerned with Kennington Common as a contested space, which include a pamphlet, posters, video, walks, and an archive of reference materials. These works continue to be an influence on a younger generation of artists.