Alice McLean and Justine Boussard, Common Ground: The Peckham Rye Common Token. (Photo: Justine Boussard)
Alice McLean and Justine Boussard collaborate to celebrate community assets and local, collective campaigning undertaken to protect them. Their project ‘Common Ground’ examines how making can open the process of recording and sharing local commoning history.
For the exhibition Alice and Justine worked with allotment holders to create tokens to celebrate the victorious campaign led by cats and humans in 2019, to protect Birmingham’s Walsall Road Allotments. Established in 1907, they risked destruction for the Commonwealth Games 2022 redevelopment. Spearheaded by the charismatic Robert, (@AllotmentCat on twitter), the community ran a campaign cleverly building on the internet’s fascination for cats. It gathered 16,000 signatures globally in just three months.
Birmingham Museums Trust Collection
Two brass tokens made during this project have been acquired by Birmingham Museums Trust in January 2022.
“We are delighted to have acquired the Walsall Road Allotment tokens into the city’s Birmingham history collection. These unique objects tell an important local story and will represent the significance of communities and grassroots campaigns in Birmingham for future visitors to learn from and be inspired by.” Emma McMullen, Birmingham History Research Assistant at Birmingham Museums Trust
“The plotholders made history twice: when they saved their common, and when they co-created these tokens. These little etched pieces of brass can now go on to tell the epic tale of these fantastic humans and their 7 cats.” Alice & Justine
What space is precious to you?
Click on the image to download the PDF instructions.
The Walsall Road Allotment Tokens and Robert the cat.
We are Commoners Goose Badge
We are Commoners Peace, Community, Nature Badge