Charting a new course for Deptford Town Hall

  • Paul Hendrich Goldsmiths, University of London

Abstract

Goldsmiths, one of the colleges in the University of London, is the current owner of Deptford's former Town Hall, an ornately sculpted building on a maritime theme. Controversially, the figures celebrated on the front of this building have close associations with the British slave trade. The paper attempts a new historicisation of Goldsmiths in relation to Deptford Town Hall, racism and resistance to racism. It further explores anthropological theory and methods in order to ascertain the institutional responsibilities of Goldsmiths to adequately address this controversial artefact. Finally I briefly examine how theory can inform action in the development of a local campaign.

Author Biography

Paul Hendrich, Goldsmiths, University of London
Paul Hendrich studied Applied Anthropology, Youth and Community Work at Goldsmiths whilst working as a youth and community worker in South London. He is currently completing his MRes in Social Anthropology at the same college and preparing to sail away to Arizona to begin his fieldwork towards his doctorate. His interests include local history, racism and resistance, vigilantes, activism, and migration. He has recently contributed to the Lewisham'77 project commemorating the Battle of Lewisham which took place on Goldsmiths' doorstep in 1977.