WELCOME TO FRESTONIA
Last Wednesday 11th October I was invited to read my poem Prayer for Grenfell Tower at the opening of Welcome to Frestonia, a photography exhibition (works by Tony Sleep) celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Free Independent Republic of Frestonia, which had been founded by a group of people who made used of abandoned, run down Victorian Terraces and expanses around Freston Road and decided to form an Independent Republic in the Western-skirts of Kensington and Notting Hill.
Frestonia was a practical and cultural alliance founded in October 1977 and formed in opposition against the system, against eviction notices and threats of the Greater London Council. The Republic of Frestonia produced it own stamps, currency and petitioned to the United Nations for full membership.
Nos Sumus Una Familia — was/is the Republic’s motto — it is also mine.
During the opening of the exhibition
Michael Horovitz read his poem The Writing on the Walls (inspired by graffiti-headings) and reminisced about the national and international counter-culture changes catalysed through the previous decade before Frestonia by Nicolas Albery and Heathcote Williams.
Michael spoke about Heathcote’ William’s Raff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency a precursory project for the occupation of abandoned houses (late 1960) providing information on squattable properties in London and further afield.
THE EXHIBITION AT THE FRESTONIAN GALLERY(2 Olaf Street W11 4BE) (which occupies the space where the People's Hall was), IS ON TILL THE 4TH OF NOVEMBER VISIT BY APPOINTMENT WWW.FRESTONIANGALLERY.COM
MORE INFO ABOUT THE REPUBLIC OF FRESTONIA IS AVAILABLE AT THE GALLERY AS WELL AS EXCELLENT PHOTOS FOR SALE (AT A VERY REASONABLE PRICE).
THE EXHIBITION IS CURATED BY WRITER AND CURATOR HELEN LITTLE