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Sounding Croydon

‘Listening is an act of reaching out’ [1]

This series of audio pieces are invitations to experience Croydon from the perspective of those who inhabit it and animate it, offering a refuge, a place of care, a home to a diversity of voices and life experiences.

PolyVocalCity: Restaging Croydon Festival, Croydon, 2023. Photo: Betty Owoo. Image: courtesy of Betty Owoo

Routine, Ritual and Improvisation are three audio works emerging from within Markas Fortunatas Klisius and Rebecca Sainsot-Reynolds research during the PolyVocalCity programme, and act as examples of the power of ‘routine, ritual, and improvisation’ in central Croydon. Featuring collaborative writing and edits of field work from the programme, interviews with Gillian Turner from the Croydon Quaker organisation, and Kyle Thomas from the HomeWork Club.

Routine; ‘listening is an act of reaching out’ is a local history lesson with Gillian Turner, caretaker of the Quaker Adult School Hall. Recorded in the summer of 2023 during the PolyVocalCity programme. Featuring field recording from outside the hall during a steel band practice [Croydon Steel Orchestra].

Ritual; ‘the golden rules about mistakes’ is a conversation with Croydon local, Kyle Thomas, who runs a Saturday HomeWork Club in Croydon for young people in his wider community. Markas and Rebecca met Kyle, four of his students and their families at Turf Projects in January, 2024.

Improvisation; a chorus to close; voices and words from text collaged into audio chorus. Voices of Taiba Alnassar, Markas Fortunatas Klisius, Rebecca Sainsot-Reynolds and Martin Osman.

Recordings, research and development by Markas Fortunatas Klisius and Rebecca Sainsot-Reynolds. Audio production by dot.i [Martin Osman //  @dot.i.stuff ].

Crafting Croydon is a conversation between director of Turf Projects B Atherton and Betty Owoo, reflecting on the shared processes they have both explored as creatives trying to conceive of alternative futures for Croydon. The conversation touches on the intersections of their recent projects at Turf (Desire Paths, Solastalgia), Theatrum Mundi (Restaging Croydon) and with Croydon Council (Croydon Urban Room), the utilisation of a creative practice to build new worlds and propose alternative futures for a place, and the contribution lived experiences can bring to shaping and healing Croydon.

‘Croyden’ is a looking and building exercise to prompt new conversations about your local area. In this recording Robin Finch Pickering wanders around a small section of the vast borough that is Croydon, noticing architectural oddities and potentially going off the beaten track. Each site holds a clue to a future that we can create or a past we wish to replicate. This recording is an initial instalment, something to be added to by you, the listener.

Audio works

Routine: listening is an act of reaching by Markas Fortunatas Klisius and Rebecca Sainsot-Reynolds

Rituals: the golden rules about making mistakes by Markas Fortunatas Klisius and Rebecca Sainsot-Reynolds

Improvisation: a chorus to end by Markas Fortunatas Klisius and Rebecca Sainsot-Reynolds

Crafting Croydon by Betty Owoo

‘Croyden’ by Robin Finch Pickering

This is a commission from Threatrum Mundi as Part of PolyVocalCity: Restaging Croydon. All copyright reserved to Theatrum Mundi and the artists. Funded by The City Bridge Trust. Here published as part of Urgent Pedagogies Issue #10: PolyVocalCity



Listening is an act of reaching out- from the Quakers Pamphlet  – Quaker Adult School Hall ,Croydon.

Betty Owoo

is a Croydon-based spatial designer and writer interested in the complex challenges of designing in an urban environment. Trained in architecture, she uses design and communication to tell stories and solve problems in the physical and digital realm. She was a member of the Theatrum Mundi PolyVocalCity: Restaging Croydon cohort, 2023.

Markas Fortunatas Klisius

is a migrant researcher, educator, writer, and curator. Positioned at the intersection of migration studies, situated learning and architecture, their practice attempts to encapsulate the spatial, educational and technological parameters of infrastructural and systemic inequality, state violence and environmental transformations. Their academic background is in anthropological and curatorial studies, having received MA in Material and Visual Cultures at UCL and BA in Culture Criticism and Curation at CSM.

Rebecca Sainsot-Reynolds

is an artist, educator and researcher working with site, story, play and object making processes through the lens of the work existing in the ‘being-together’. Unearthing stories through in depth investigations into the physical, historical, imagined and social histories of place and being. Rebecca delivers the young people’s programmes at Company Drinks in Barking, and is researching histories of urban play through work with Triangle Adventure Playground.

Robin Finch Pickering

is a visual artist from Croydon, currently on the Conditions studio course. He  is the recipient of the Vanguard Studio award 2022 and has recently completed a solo show in Camberwell space that involved 6 workshops led by visiting artists. Selected exhibitions include Stolen Goods at Filet gallery,Good day, big miss stake at Kate, Amsterdam, Valve in Waterloo, Rites of spring in Lewisham Arthouse and the Bauhaus 100 festival in Dessau.

Lou-Atessa Marcellin
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