Radical education project, commissioning the artists Barbara Steveni and Barby Asante to meaningfully address the erosion of arts in education today.

Southwark Education Research Project Reactivated Peckham Platform, SE15

Between 1989 and 1995 the Southwark Education Research Project engaged over 1,500 children and teachers by placing artists in fifteen schools across the London borough of Southwark. SERP created interventions in the schools it worked with, encouraging participants to question the education process and providing new ways for them to engage with the arts. The project created a model for replication across the country by involving the local authority, the inspectorate, teachers and pupils – and in doing so gained recognition nationally and internationally.

In 2018 Peckham Platform revisits SERP’s significance, at a time when education policy focuses overwhelmingly on measuring attainment through exam results and league tables, and increased bureaucracy coupled with reduced budgets has seen a reduction in the opportunities for young people to engage with culture and the creative process in-school.

Peckham Platform’s project has two main strands – securing and reactivating the archive of the original SERP; and public programmes at Tate Exchange and Flat Time House, which present highlights from the archive alongside new material created through collaboration between artists Barby Asante and Barbara Steveni.

SERP Reactivated was supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund

15 March – 8 April 2018
Wednesday – Sunday
210 Bellenden Rd, London, SE15 4BW
12noon – 6pm

17 April – 22 April 2018
Blavatnik Building, Level 5, Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Daily 12noon – 6pm

SERP Reactivated has two main strands – securing and preserving the original SERP archive; and reactivating elements of the archive through public programmes at Flat Time House and Tate Exchange in 2018.

The original documentation of the Southwark Education Research Project, as well as all material created through SERP’s reactivation, are available HERE

Barby Asante & Barbara Steveni

Press Coverage
Peckham Platform’s CEO & Artist Director Emily Druiff discusses SERP Reactivated and the significance of archives in the spring issue of NSEAD’s AD magazine


Date: 17/03/2018
Panel: Victoria Lane and Judy Vakin co editors of Archiving the Artist in conversation with artists Barby Asante and Barbara Steveni and Ben Cranfield Senior Tutor in Curatorial Theory at the Royal College.
Venue: Flat Time House

Description: Victoria Lane and Judy Vakin lead a discussion exploring the current urgency to reactivate and learn from the Southwark Education Research Project.


Date: 17/04/2018
Panel: Gilane Tawadros Chief Executive at DACS and Vice-Chair of the Stuart Hall Foundation with the artists Franklyn Rodgers and Barbara Steveni, recipient of ART360 and Barby Asante, along with Emily Druiff CEO at Peckham Platform.
Venue: Tate Exchange

Description: Gilane Tawadros leads a discussion on the ethics of public engagement and artistic intervention in communities; and the critical influence that the ‘open brief’ developed by Artist Placement Group has had on social practice today.

Ethics of Engagement opened with a video clip of a conversation between Tony Benn and Barabra Steveni in 2005 which is reference in the podcast. Click here to watch it.