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Cockney Conversations

Cockney Conversations Month

Cockney Cultures launches Cockney Conversations Month March 3rd to April 4th

An innovative and pioneering project, ‘Cockney Cultures’, to overcome bias, prejudice and ignorance against Cockney identity is being created in a new partnership between the Bengali East End History Society and Grow Social Capital.

Cockney Cultures is working to encourage greater self-belief, confidence, and pride in who Cockneys are, what they stand for, and how they can best work together to face their common future.

Tackling this is important, because a strong, positive sense of identity provides greater self-belief, confidence, resilience and purpose as the foundation for greater well-being. London’s indigenous working-class communities, and others who identify as ‘Cockney’, all face a lesser future unless something is done. The threat affects all creeds and races, as well as the global Cockney diaspora and their future generations.

Our ambition is to protect and grow the positive benefits and value of a vibrant Cockney self-identity. The project creates a new narrative for London’s indigenous culture, a Cockney story of a proud past, spanning centuries, with a positive future. It builds upon an identity based on positive values of inclusivity, resilience, defiance, resourcefulness, supported by an irreverent and stoic wit, that provide a greater sense of togetherness, mutual support, and communal strength.

It is timely given the increased sense of isolation and dislocation exacerbated by the pandemic but also by decades or erosion of communities and common histories, and from future threats from external developers.

The issue has wider significance being part of a larger narrative of a decline in regional identities across Britain.

Check out the discussion paper which serves as a launch pad inspiring conversations and actions about being Cockney, with practical activities and events to create a better future for Cockneys, from its traditional inner London heartland, its now wider hinterland, through to the global Cockney diaspora.

Planned events

1) On ‘Speak Cockney Day’ we ask ‘Is Cockney dying?’, Thursday 3rd March 2022 @ 12pm (GMT): with guest academic sociolinguists, cultural commentators and questions from the audience.

Book here

At this event, the ‘Cockney by Numbers’ report will be launched.

2) ‘The Story of Cockney in 50 Objects’, Thursday 10th March 2022 @ 12pm (GMT): a Cockney ‘Room 101’ where visitors can recommend their top 50 cultural objects.

Book here

3) ‘Can you succeed in Advertising, film and PR with a Cockney accent?’, Thursday 17th March 2022 @ 12pm (GMT): a panel from the communications industries share their first-hand experiences

Book here

4) ‘Cockney-Bengali rhyming slang: how can Cockney revivalists learn from the Sylheti-Bengali Language Movement?’, Thursday 24th March 2022 @ 12pm (GMT)

Book here

5) ‘You ‘avin’ a larf? Is there such a thing as Cockney humour?’, Thursday 31st March 2022 @ 12pm (GMT).

Book here

6) ‘Cockneycide – Is there prejudice against regional accents and identity?’, Monday 4th April 2022 @ 12pm (GMT): a panel of cultural commentators and open discussions. Can ‘inclusive tribalism’ tackle ‘divisive’ tribalism?

Book here

The events listed above are FREE although places are limited. Book your place through the Eventbrite links or alternatively email cockneycultures@gmail.com 

*Events will be added to the programme throughout the month. In-person events will follow current UK Government guidelines on coronavirus.

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