Antiscrap is a campaign by local artists and non artists against the attacks on our culture by the local authority. It was formed by local artists when the council announced cuts in the museum service at the William Morris Gallery and the Vestry House museum. It soon became clear that these cuts were only part of the plan by the council to whittle away the cultural infrasructure of the borough, libraries, meeting halls, adult education and many more aspects of culture were under threat. So antiscrap extended its remit to cover all cultural cuts, antiscrap, artists against the cuts.
This website was formed to bring together all of the campaigns that are fighting cuts and give them a platform or a link to their own website, a one stop shop for resistance to the philistines.
The bigger picture
This Council is completely wedded to the neo-liberal agenda of New Labour. They are almost certainly responsible for the disappearance of many thousands of books from libraries and have closed down at least one branch library, St James', with more to follow. The main reason for cuts in library services, as with the gallery is to save money on specialist staff - there are few librarians left in Waltham Forest. It is working people and the poorer sections of the borough who will loose out as their access to books is reduced to 3 for 2 offers in Waterstones. Where is the vision of books, free to all, that was carried by Labour throughout the last century?
Other social and cultural services in the Borough have fared even worse: dance and drama groups, adult education classes, senior citizen clubs, rehearsal space and drop-in centres are threatened or gone because classes have been cancelled, funding withdrawn, meeting rooms have closed or become too expensive to hire.
This council has no 'vision' for quality of life, no imagination - as well as no cinema, no theatre, no arts provision, nowhere for the community to come together in shared experience. Fellowship is life, lack of fellowship is death, so William Morris believed.
For antiscrap, the Gallery and Museum are two oases in the cultural desert that is now Walthamstow. They must be defended before we all die of thirst. If you think there's more to life that working, sleeping, and shopping, join antiscrap to fight for the Gallery, Museum and arts provision in Waltham Forest.
'Take courage, and believe that we of this age, in spite of all its torment and disorder, have been born to a wonderful heritage fashioned of the work of those that have gone before us...' - William Morris: How we live and how we might live (1884)
Antiscrap - Artists against cuts
Antiscrap started with an e-mail on the local arts club message board when the council announced cuts at the William Morris Gallery and Vestry Hose Museum. The cutting of the opening hours in half and reducing the staff were seen as challenge, and local artists rose to that challenge. Named after Morris's "Anticsrape", his nickname for the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings, antiscrap quickly consisted of artists and non artists alike concerned about the Gallery.