We have collaborated with Untelevised to produce the 'Land for Who?' podcast series, exploring our relationships with land in UK grassroots movements.

In 2021, we launched our "Land for Who?" research project with the New Economics Foundation, where we explored the need to deepen widespread understanding of the UK's "land system", through the perspective of grassroots organisations working within it.

Now, we have announced a new series of podcast explainers which lead on from the research we worked on last year. Mona and Fisayo from Untelevised have been in conversation with a number of grassroots organisations, producing four brilliant podcasts which have been published this summer, 2022.

Listen to the podcasts and read all the episode summaries below, as well as accessing full resource and further reading lists provided by Untelevised. We hope that this podcast series can be an incredibly useful resource to broaden wider understanding about land as an issue - don't forget to share this resource widely with your networks, friends and families.

Find episodes Land for Movement?, Land for Belonging?, Land for Healing? and Land for Abundance?

Introduction to Land for Who? Episode 1: So, who is land really for?

Published just after the 90th Anniversary of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass, the introductory episode to the 'Land for Who?' series kicks off by introducing why we need to talk about land justice. The majority of the land that we occupy is out of bounds - a massive 92% of our countryside and 97% of our rivers are hidden behind "no trespassing", "no public access" and "private property" signs. But who controls what land, for how long, for what purposes and for whose benefit, is all central to shaping our lives.

What was mentioned in this episode:

Land for Who Phase 1 Findings; Season 3 - The Climate & Series; Kinder Scout Trespass - article 1 (Wikipedia), article 2 (BBC), article 3 (KinderTrespass.Org), article 4 (Tribune Mag); Follow the Kinder Scout Trail; Right to Roam Website

Land for Movement? Episode 2: So, what makes us move from land to land?

graphics of tyler hatwell and sam siva

Mona and Fisayo from Untelevised speak to Tyler Hatwell and Sam Siva, in an episode exploring different forms of movement and how they affect our relationship both with land and with one another.

Episode Summary: Tyler is a founder and executive director of Traveller Pride, an organisation advocating for LGBT+ travellers’ education and access. He is from a showman family and also works for inclusion of showmen in traveller discussions.

  1. Tyler talks about the harsher realities of being on the road as a traveller and the need to have some kind of base, but the cultural and legal hostilities this is often met with.
  2. Land ownership and sense of belonging to an area is difficult for travellers - you feel that if you want to live somewhere you have to do it a certain way.
  3. New anti-trespass laws are criminalising nomadism is a way never before seen in the UK. Survival will be harder - but it’s the social aptitude of travellers and informal relationships with landowners that make it possible.
  4. Tyler talks about the enormous sense of community - looking out for each other, being there when things need fixing, and feeling cared for by many adults as a child. This could be replicated elsewhere - but the nomadic lifestyle isn’t easy to take up if you aren’t used to it!

Sam is a food producer and member of Land In Our Names (LION) a grassroots Black-led collective committed to reparations in Britain by connecting land and climate justice with racial justice.

  1. Sam talks about having moved around growing up, and having a diasporic identity in the UK.
  2. They argue that being nomadic and moving around is part of being human. Staying in one place isn’t always sustainable when natural events like droughts happen.
  3. People from a diasporic community often migrate from rural spaces to intense cities, which isn’t great for their nervous system. Being around nature is good for mental health and for healing. Rural spaces can be exclusionary too, with black and people of colour being seen as outsiders, or as not deserving to be in the countryside.
  4. They talk about figuring out systems of Reparations at LION, acknowledging that the transformation of commons into private land and pushing off peasants was resourced by colonialism using wealth made in India and Caribbean.
"If we get land into black and people of colour’s hands we will actually be able to build a sustainable and resilient movement. To grow food for our communities, to learn about nature, to repair our ecosystem and ecologies.” - Sam Siva
Resources and further reading from this episode:

Donate to Land in Our Names; Donate to Traveller Pride; Rural Idyll Article (Kate Bernstock, Gal-Dem); Traveller representation in the media; Chav Solidarity Book; People to look up - Zakiya Mckenzie, Clare Ratinon, Corrine Fowler, Robin Wall Kimmerer; Wretched of the Earth Organisation; Decolonising Economics; Friends, Family and Travellers; Kinder in Colour; Black Girls Hike; Muslim Hikers; Right to Roam; Landscapes of Freedom; Dale Farm Traveller Evictions; Police Crime and Sentencing Bill's Impact on Travellers; Gardens of Others podcast by MADEYOULOOK.

Land for Belonging? Episode 3: So, where on earth do we belong?

graphics of javier sanchez and andre reid
“For peasant people, and I can see it everywhere. Land is culture. The way you inhabit land becomes culture. And the way that the culture affects you is intrinsic in the way you do things everyday: the way you wake up, the way you treat your animals, how you eat, how you look after a plot, and that creates belonging” - Javier Sanchez-Rodriguez

Episode Summary: Javier is a social change activist and youth worker co-running the Anne Matthews Trust in mid-Wales, a residential bunkhouse called Braich Goch where Javi works to make a ‘home from home’ for young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

  1. Contrasting rural and urban place, this episode different ideas of how people feel a sense of belonging to a place and to the earth.
  2. Javier conceives that without land there is no freedom; in order to have freedom we need to have land. But, belonging is not about having land, it’s about how you inhabit land, together, and how you relate to other humans.
  3. Political process of history matter to the idea of belonging to the land - colonial histories and cultural practices which have resulted from these.

Andre is a founder of Kiondo, a community-led design agency. He is based in Walsall in the West Midlands and invests time, energy and enthusiasm in the place in which he lives.

  1. When it comes to land, Andre believes we don’t need a sense of ownership, but we do need a sense of agency.
  2. Design, he believes, helps communities to dream and to bring a sense of purpose.
  3. Andre found it energising to decide to work closer to home, believing there’s potential there, investing in the place and the people.
  4. We all need and want new experiences, when we wake up each day. Arts are an embodiment of culture, they provide the platform for inspiration, and makes people feel that what they dream is possible.

Resources and further reading from this episode:

Untelevised's visit to Nijmegen (IG Story); Granville Community Kitchen (IG Story); Visit the Anne Matthews Trust Bunkhouse; Refer someone to Anne Matthews Trust; Civic Square; New Economics Foundation.

Land for Healing? Episode 4: So, is our land healing or harming us?

graphics of Nicki Myers and Farzana Khan

Mona and Fisayo speak with Nicki Myers and Farzana Khan about how land can not only be a space for existence and survival, but how it can be a space for healing: for ourselves and our communities.

Episode Summary: In the first conversation of this episode, Fisayo speaks with Nicki Myers, the chair of the Cambridge and Essex branch of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC); who fight for justice and human rights for all Disabled People in the UK.

  1. Access can be built into green spaces for Disabled People; but it is okay that not every mountain top and green space can be accessed by people with disabilities - it is a matter of having the basic barriers removed where it is possible (providing disabled toilets, basic equipment, suitable ground surfaces on paths and in car parks.)
  2. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is a threat for the rights and lives of Disabled People. The rights of Disabled People weren’t given, they were fought for; largely through protest and civil disobedience - exactly what the PCSC bill is criminalising.
  3. Nicki describes what you can do within your communities to include Disabled People, how you can be an ally to Disabled People, and about projects across the UK that are working to include Disabled People in different ways.

Mona meets with Farzana Khan: a writer, a director, a cultural producer, and the Executive Director of Healing Justice London.

“Land and spatial justice is really about changing the baseline of what we’re calling in for when we think about liberation, when we think about justice, when we think about equity, when we think about sustainability.” - Farzana Khan
  1. Land is an extremely powerful space to work with - on a physical level and more-than-physical. It can be a site for healing, and has also been the site of trauma and violence for a lot of people.
  2. We need to move away from land as an asset or tied to capital towards an interdependence with ecology - we depend on the land and should be part of its ecology.
  3. Within marginalised communities, there is so much oppression-based trauma that needs healing, and lots of unlearning. Healing should therefore be a social and civic responsibility that we do within our communities. Part of this healing involves reconnecting with what we have lost through oppressive structures, where land is one of those things.

Resources and further reading from this episode:

Maslow's hierarchy of need; Abolitionism; Social Model of Disability; Join a local branch of DPAC;  Social Prescribing; Then Barbara Met Alan (BBC Film); Lobby your MP; Tune into Local Authority Planning; Disability News Service; Arts on Prescription; Farming on Prescription; Medicine Stories (Aurora Levins Morales); Phytology; We Level Up; Ubele; Black Roots; LION; Ruth Wilson Gilmore; Rabia Marley; Calaban and the Witch (Sylvia Federici); The Wild Edge of Sorrow (Frances Weller); Rehearsing Freedom by Healing Justice London.

Land for Abundance? Episode 4: So, surely there is enough land for us all?

graphics of Beth Stratford and Rachel Solnick
“Abundance means not just having enough to survive, but having enough to have meaningful freedom, and develop your capabilities and live the good life. And clearly a lot of people don’t experience land to be abundant- but that is because of how it is distributed.” - Beth Stratford.

Episode Summary: Beth Stratford, a cofounder of London Renters Union, and a PhD student about the effect of rentier power in a resource-constrained future. She was a Lead Author on the UK's path to doughnut-shaped recovery and the Land for the Many report, commissioned by Labour.  

  1. Enclosure and privatisation of what used to be common land has created a power imbalance which is what enables capitalist exploitation.
  2. The idea that you are born into this world with no access to land to be able to live and thrive on has been completely normalised. This did not used to be the case.
  3. Land is at the centre of the housing crisis. There is too much money chasing the housing stock, and banks are creating too much mortgage credit with a powerful feedback loop, forcing prices upwards. LRU and other new unions are addressing these issues in ways that haven’t been before.
  4. Land can be stewarded in the interests of everybody. Beth describes lots of different ways that land ownership could be redistributed and made more equal, providing more security for more people. 

Rachel Solnick is a PhD candidate investigating how discourses of racial justice and diasporism provide a means for radical politics of co-liberation, and anti-racist, decolonial land practises. She is a market gardener and researcher, and is part of a housing coop, establishing a land-based community.

  1. Rachel simultaneously connects to land through growing and connecting to nature, and her research interrogating what land means. 
  2. Rachel identifies as a diasporist, which to her means to choose to reclaim a rooting/seeding in another place. It is a non-nationalist sentiment that gives permission to belong exactly where you are. It is difficult to feel a sense of belonging when part of a people who are constantly migrating. The sentiment of “The land belongs to all of us, it can’t be owned!” is very healing for belonging within complexity.
  3. Relating to land as our possession has broken the ability to have connection. There is a lot to do in order to create a relationship that is regenerative.

Resources and further reading from this episode:

Democratic Housing Episode; Interactive Map of the UK; Land for the Many Report; The UK’s Path to a Doughnut-Shaped Recovery Report; Right to Roam; London Renters Union; Living Rent (Scotland); Acorn the Union; Greater Manchester Housing Action; Guide to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; Aurora Levins Morales; The Colors of Jews; There is nothing so whole as a broken heart; Positive Money; The Social Guarantee; Countryside and Rights of Way Act - gov.uk, Wikipedia; Land for Who Phase 1 Findings.

The 'Land for Who?' podcast series is produced by Untelevised, a joint platform between Filmanthropy and Revoke, in collaboration with the New Economics Foundation and Shared Assets.

We want to give our huge thanks to Mona and Fisayo, who present Untelevised, as well as the whole team at Untelevised. Our thanks also goes to each guest who participated in the 'Land for Who?' podcast episodes: Tyler Hatwell, Sam Siva, Javier Sanchez-Rodriguez, Andre Reid, Farzana Khan, Nicki Myers, Beth Stratford and Rachel Solnick, as well as all researchers and interviewees who were part of 'Land for Who?' phase 1 who contributed to the research which informed the podcast series.

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