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rock down to electric avenue with these brixton-ites

Brixton and all it's misconceptions (see Guns of Brixton by The Clash) are being set straight by the youth of today. We rocked down to Electric Avenue to ask the locals what makes their hometown the place to be, from The Ritzy cinema to Coldharbour Lane there's something for everyone in the Brixton jam!

Photography Richard Round-Turner
Casting Simone Konu at Transmission
Production Kathleen Brey
Special thanks to Imwen Eke at We Love Brixton

  • Tyrone, 25, architect

    Where are you from?
    Streatham.
     
    How would you describe Brixton in one sentence in a guidebook?
    Second best place in London and there is absolutely no shame in coming second to Streatham. 
      
    Best place to get a coffee in Brixton?
    My flat, great selection. 
     
    Best thing about living in Brixton?
    Close to Streatham. 
     
    Worst thing about living in Brixton?
    Close to Clapham. 
     
    Where's your favourite place to hang out in Brixton that's off the beaten track?
    The Duke of Edinburough pub, BEFORE it chaged hands. Now its pretty rubbish so not too sure. 
     
    What's the biggest misconception about Brixton that you'd like to set straight?
    That it is full of “gangsters”, it’s not, it’s actually full of “yuppies.” 
     
    Top tips for Brixton newcomers: 
    1) Don’t worry about the “gangsters.” 
    2) Try not to worry about the “yuppies.”
    3) Eat at El Rancha in the “village”.

    Tyrone

  • Jade Chandoo-Tixier, 18, student

    Where are you from?
    I’m from paris but was born in Mauritius.
     
    When did you move to Brixton?
    I moved to London 1 year ago, simple french peoples suck, they are too much about appearance and not open enough to other cultures, I think here people really make you feel comfortable and are really friendly. It's a big change from where I used to live. 
     
    Best place to get a coffee in Brixton?
    Brixton Village Market. 
     
    Best thing about living in Brixton?
    Markets and restaurants. 
     
    Worst thing about living in Brixton?
    None.
     
    Where's your favourite place to hang out in Brixton that's off the beaten track? 
    Brockwell Park and in summer Brockwell Lido.
     
    Top tips for Brixton newcomers:
    1) Enjoy the food lol.

    Jade Chandoo-Tixier

  • Hayley Sarah Jane Mills, 24, junior strategist/planner

    Where are you from?
    I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, spent two years in Zimbabwe with my father as a child before returning to South Africa, then moving to Scotland with a brief stint in Spain. Now I’m living in London.

    What do you do?
    I’ve recently started my role as Junior Strategist/Planner for POSSIBLE London, which is part of POSSIBLE Worldwide.

    When did you move to Brixton?
    I first moved to Brixton back in August 2012 because it was close to my school in Vauxhall and a friend from Scotland lived here at the time. I went to see a few places in the area before viewing a flat with an Aussie/Danish gay couple and a German guy. They’ve now become like my extended international London family. I love the multicultural feel in Brixton and there’s room for diversity, which is why I stayed here after graduating.

    How would you describe Brixton in one sentence in a guidebook?
    Brixton is the most diverse part of London in terms of culture and there’s always something new to see or do here.

    Best place to get a coffee in Brixton?
    I don’t drink coffee but the ultimate spot for a hot chocolate is The Lounge, it’s cozy, warm and welcoming, I can spend hours on the couch watching people and enjoying the buzz of Brixton from the window. 

    Best thing about living in Brixton?
    All the different people living in Brixton and the sense of realness about the area. I genuinely feel a part of this vibrant community. The area has been the source and fuel of creativity for generations.

    Worst thing about living in Brixton?
    Things here are changing rapidly and Brixton has become rather trendy. Change is not necessarily a bad thing but I just hope the area will keep its essence and not become another rich kid/hipster playground as I love the genuine soul and character of the area, which was here long before us newbies. We have to remember this is a community with a strong cultural and ethnic heritage and it’s been a home to many for generations. So whatever we do in the future we need to include both old and new.

     

    Where’s your favourite place to hang out in Brixton that’s off the beaten track?
    I wouldn’t say I have one favourite spot but a venue that genuinely surprised me was Club 43. It had the most eclectic playlist even by Brixton standards with a very diverse group of individuals. A genuine mixed bag of old and new, with one of the warmest welcomes I’ve received.

    Hayley Sarah Jane Mills

  • beth noble, 17, student

    When and why did you move to Brixton?
    Because my gran was married to a black man during the 60s and Brixton was one of the only places black people migrated to. They all felt accepted and therefore they decided to build a small community which allowed them to be contented and settle. Hence the reason my mum decided to raise me here as it worked for her and so far, has worked for me. 

    How would you describe Brixton in one sentence in a guidebook? 
    Brixton has been stereotyped a capital city within a capital city; it captivates different cultures and ways in which, people from different walks of life are united. 

    Best place to go out in Brixton?
    Brixton Academy... There's concerts for literally everyone. I don't want to say too much, I want you to experience it, but the vibe that takes over once you step through that door is one you must experience. Everyone is so welcoming from the bouncers outside to the bar staff. That is definintely a place where you can go let your hair down, get a little merry and enjoy a wonderful performance of your choice. 

    Best thing about living in Brixton?
    To me, Brixton gives off a sense of belonging and I feel connected a lot more to my heritage; there is a difference between learning my history from a text book than actually walking through the streets and reliving my history. For example my mum was able to meet Nelson Mandela on the streets of Brixton as he came to pay his respects. 

    Worst thing about living in Brixton?
    Would have to be how busy it gets. There's so much to do in Brixton from the likes of cinemas, recreation centre and even the daily markets - all ages are covered. It really does bring Brixton alive. 

    Where's your favourite place to hang out in Brixton that's off the beaten track? 
    For me, it would be my friend's mums house. Every holiday she packs up and goes away and allows me to look after her home. Me and some of my friends have made it our own.

    What's the biggest misconception about Brixton that you'd like to set straight? 
    People stereotype and label Brixton as the land of poverty, depression, full of crime and unfulfilled dreams. However what people are unaware of is that Brixton has produced many of the cities most successful icons, we have produced well-known directors such as Rebecca Johnson, she originated from Brixton and has worked on fully establish sets such as Top Boy and is currently editing her very own film.

    Top tips for Brixton newcomers:
    1) The amazing transport, you will definitely get from A to B in no time. 
    2) The multicultural food!! You must go and experience the range of food there is on offer. 
    3) There's always something to do so don't worry about what's happen next - just go with the flow.

    Beth Noble

  • amy-louise warner, 17, student

    How would you describe Brixton in one sentence in a guidebook? 
    A vibrant, diverse and up and coming location, great for food, shopping and social events from a variety of different cultures and origins.

    Best place to go out in Brixton? 
    The Brixton Village.

    Best place to get a coffee in Brixton? 
    The Ritzy bar and Restaurant.

    Best thing about living in Brixton? 
    There’s always something going on and a new place to find - never a dull day!

    Worst thing about living in Brixton?
    Some of the people you bump into can be interesting..

    Where's your favourite place to hang out in Brixton that's off the beaten track? 
    I like to go shopping down the Brixton market, you can find so many nice things for really cheap prices.

    What's the biggest misconception about Brixton that you'd like to set straight? 
    People often think Brixton’s really run down and dangerous, but like anywhere - as long as you are sensible, it’s lively, safe and fun.

    Top tips for Brixton newcomers: 
    1) Explore!
    2) Go for a meal in the Brixton village.
    3) Don’t be afraid to go to places and talk to people who you wouldn’t usually. 

    Amy-Louise Warner

  • dominique mccallum, 20, student

    How would you describe Brixton in one sentence in a guidebook?
    An exotic cultural place that is full of life and never sleeps.

    Best place to go out in Brixton?
    Why… Brixton Academy of course! 

    Best place to get a coffee in Brixton?
    Snugg (in Brixton Village).

    Best thing about living in Brixton?
    All the different types of foods!

    Worst thing about living in Brixton?
    The fact that people are scared to come to Brixton if they have never been before.

    Where's your favourite place to hang out in Brixton that's off the beaten track?
    Brixton Garages.

    What's the biggest misconception about Brixton that you'd like to set straight?
    That Brixton is a rough area and full of crime and deviance.

    Dominique McCallum

  • ivory campbell, 16, student

    When did you move to Brixton?
    I’ve always lived near Brixton so about 16 years ago! 

    Best place to go out in Brixton?
    Round the back of Brixton - you find all the markets and nice eateries around there.

    Best place to get a coffee in Brixton?
    Probably Brixton Village as they have loads of nice little cafe’s and restaurants to hang out in.

    Best thing about living in Brixton?
    Well I think it's just the mix of cultures and personalities you get around there. It's a really cool vibe to be around.

    Worst thing about living in Brixton?
    I think the bad press, although it has got better.

    Wheres your favourite place to hang out in Brixton thats off the beaten track?
    This really cool restaurant/café/bar called Lounge, it's not on the main road so it's a nice little place to go and chill and have a drink and a bite to eat.

    Whats the biggest misconception about Brixton that youd like to set straight?
    I think some people have a fixed conception about Brixton that its a "dodgy" area but it's really not - it's so cultural, funky and there's a Starbucks and a McDonalds. What more do you want?!

    Top tips for Brixton newcomers:
    1) Be open minded.
    2) Explore the area.
    3) Go somewhere to eat that you haven’t been before, Brixton has the BEST FOOD!!!!!

    Ivory Cambell

  • gaius mavila, 17, student

    How would you describe Brixton in one sentence in a guidebook? 
    A sentence is a bit short but I would say "Brixton is a mixture of diversity and heritage... Every street has significance to what you see today.”

    Best place to go out in Brixton?
    At night, places you wouldn’t expect like Brixton Village come alive with small restaurants and live DJ’s but during the day it would be Brixton Station Road. The huge array of shops and random road performances show off the unpredictability of Brixton.

    Best place to get a coffee in Brixton?
    I don’t know about coffee but I know the best place to get chicken foot soup or pattie is in Atlantic Bakery, on Coldharbour Lane.

    Best thing about living in Brixton?
    First of all, the unity of the people within Brixton when there is a cause everyone is willing to fight for. A prime example is when Steadman Scott wanted to shed light on the neglect of the Brixton Recreation Centre, a tool meant to keep kids off the street. The whole community was aware of this and most shops in Brixton had a petition for people to sign in order to see an improvement. Also, the different types of people being able to live in cohesion with each other in one place, from different religions to different ethnicities.

    Worst thing about living in Brixton?
    The privatisation of council homes. Brixton is now seen as a hotspot for city workers and property developers and so, long term residents have been displaced into, what I think, is meant to be a ghetto of low income households. Also, the rise of several similar stores like EE, Virgin Media, Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4 U and O2 all a few seconds apart from each other which is ridiculous, not to mention the 3 Sainsbury stores which are also extremely close.

    Where's your favourite place to hang out in Brixton that's off the beaten track?
    My favourite place would be the skate park. That place is quite iconic to me because it's been there for a while and I always thought, "why does Brixton need a skate park and why was it built?" Now I'm a skater, I've noticed it's so close to the main road yet not much people notice it. In my eyes it's a good thing because it gives Brixton people something to hold on to.

    What's the biggest misconception about Brixton that you'd like to set straight?
    That the people of Brixton hold no significance to the area. By speaking to most people off the streets of Brixton they would show you their in depth knowledge of the area as well as the part they’ve played in the community like the last few Black Panther Party members that still remain in Brixton.

    Top tips for Brixton newcomers:
    1) My first is quite cliche╠ü but don’t judge a book by its cover.
    2) Experience Brixton for yourself, don’t be consumed by other people’s perceptions of the area.
    3) Feel free because everyone is accepted and appreciated.

    Gaius Mavila