History and the Housing Crisis

We are pleased to announce our next Applied History event on History and the Housing Crisis to be held on the evening of 14 June 2016 at the Marx Memorial Library. The event is free to attend but booking is essential via our Eventbrite page.

We are currently in the midst of a housing crisis. House prices are on average seven times people’s incomes, and with the economic downturn repossession rates are soaring. In the private rental market rents are also soaring, especially in London, and at the same time one-third of private rented homes fail to meet the Decent Homes Standard. All the while the government continues to pursue the sale of council houses and housing association homes. Hundreds of thousands are pushed into homelessness, living in temporary accommodation or on the streets.

In this event we will ask what the historical roots to the current housing crisis are, what historical solutions have been posed, and how we might tell the history of housing politics. Did past politics of rent strikes or squatting work, and do they work in the same way today? What solutions have past local and national governments pursued to resolve housing crises, and could these be pursued again? And why is it important to remember the history of housing today? Should we look to the past to think about what the future of housing politics in Britain might look like?



This event is being led by Diarmaid Kelliher and Tank Green. It is supported by the Raphael Samuel History Centre.



British history and anti-racist campaigning: a discussion event

We are pleased to announce that our first discussion event ‘British history and anti-racist campaigning‘ will be held at the Marx Memorial Library, London EC1 on Tuesday October 20th at 6.30pm until 8pm. Please go to our Eventbrite page to register. The event is free of charge but registration is required.

This event is inspired by listening to anti-racist campaigners say that their work is hampered by a general lack of historical knowledge in respect of Empire and colonialism amongst the white British public. In order to explore this more fully, the event will bring together four speakers to examine the relationship between the white general public’s understanding of British history and anti-racist campaigning work. Since the point of the event is to assist historians in directing their research in socially responsible and useful ways, the speakers will be campaigners, journalists, and educationalists rather than academic historians. The panel members will each approach the topic from a different vantage point based on their experiences and will speak for 10-15 minutes each. After which, the discussion will be opened up for the next hour or so to include the floor.


Kiri Kankhwende: ‘How the lack of a historical perspective fuels racist media narratives about migrants’.
Kiri is a journalist and immigration and human rights campaigner.

Rita Chadha: ‘Historical voyeurism and the concept of migration: why are we so obsessed with migration journeys of despair and success?’
Rita is the Chief Executive of RAMFEL.

John Siblon: ‘Losing and gaining the British Empire in the classroom’.
John is a Sixth Form History Teacher in London and PhD candidate.

Suresh Grover: ‘Before My Memory Dies: The Persistence of Imperial Racism’
Suresh is Director of the The Monitoring Group and a Civil Rights campaigner and will explore how the role of the British Empire remains invisible in understanding the cause and impact of racism in UK today.

This event is being organised by Tank Green for the Applied History Network. Tank is a doing a PhD in contemporary British history at the University of Exeter. Her thesis is on ‘race’, racism and ‘race relations’ in the sixties, with specific reference to the work of a church in Notting Hill. She has one more year to go… allegedly.