Company. Movements, Deals and Drinks
East London
April 2014

Kathrin Böhm, Wapke Feenstra, Antje Schiffers
Create London

A new long-term arts project to link east London's history of going hopping and fruit picking in Kent with the ambition to set up a community drinks enterprise.

‘Company. Movements, Deals and Drinks’ revisits the hop picking history of London’s East End and connects and reconnects different communities, places and processes involved: land, agriculture, harvest, processing and consuming. The long-term objective is to establish a new cultural and economic enterprise which incorporates values and aspects from the “old hop-picking days” but allows for roles, shares and potentials to be altered.

This project draws on the history of “going down to Kent”. From the early 19th century each summer over 200,000 east London residents – mostly women and children – would leave London for temporary seasonal work in Kent, harvesting apples, berries, hops and other crops. The tradition of hop picking in Kent reminds us of London’s closeness to the countryside and relationships between urban communities and rural production, workforces and harvest seasons, economic needs on both sides and the excitement of going somewhere else – even if it’s a working holiday.

The proposal is to establish a new co-operative for producing and distributing a wide range of drinks and beverages (non-alcoholic and alcoholic) that explain and revisit East London’ s working class cultures and allows for old and new links between the city and the countryside to be remembered and developed for a growing and more diverse urban community.

Drinks production started in April 2014 and the first full range of beverages will be launched this October.

The temporary project website lists upcoming events.
www.c-o-m-p-a-n-y.info

Company. Movements, Deals and Drinks is commissioned by Create London and is the winner of the 2014 Create Art Award.