A Statement from Islington Mill: 16 April 2020

Dear Friends, Alumni, Supporters, Partners, Extended Community and Peers we know and don’t know yet. 

At the beginning of 2020, after many years of collective hard work, we were celebrating our success at finally moving into a new phase at Islington Mill. This is a chapter that will see crucial building renovation taking place at last, and most importantly a period of long-term security for artists, and with it the possibility for our communities to expand, and an exciting future of co-imagining and sharing. Our commitment to these long-term visions remains intact. Our planned activities are adapting and responding to these unprecedented times.  

In these past weeks, our focus has been to ensure the immediate security of Islington Mill; our building, our tenants and our staff team. We have worked extensively to understand the impact the pandemic is having on the health, well-being, and livelihoods of our community. We are lobbying hard and applying for all support available to us, and diverting pockets of funding where permission will be given. 

In the face of this situation, we are reminded of the tremendous skills and talent running throughout our whole community as we hear stories of heart-warming generosity and resourcefulness. As we learn to navigate this new uncertainty, we also recognise the importance of taking moments wherever we can to simply pause, to feel and reflect on what is happening, and to resist the external pressure to be incessantly productive.

The Islington Mill community stretches far beyond the historic brick walls of our building and we would love to reach out to everyone, friends old and new, and those we have not yet met. As our lives and interactions have shifted so quickly online, we are excited to explore platforms that can bring us together, to share our experiences and skills, and to collectively create new opportunities. We are exploring ways that we would like to support and engage with each other now and into the future. Stay tuned for developments, and stay in touch. We would love to hear from you, we would love to connect, we would love to share.  

‘Normal life’ seems very far away at this point and we want to take this opportunity to reflect deeply and to actively resist a return to the familiar ‘normal’; a ‘normal’ that was neither equitable, comfortable or safe for many, and filled with stress and anxiety for most. The world has been operating in burn-out mode. We can now actively make shifts in thinking and action, bring harmony in working and living, move into more non-binary ways of thinking, focus on what we really value, consider what we would like to leave behind, and what we would love to take forward. Together.