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CRA




Walkshop: Chip on Your Shoulder
12 October 2020



Walk with Ken Thomas, a local community organiser who has been researching and building a collection of objects related to the history of the slave trade in Deptford. Ken led students and staff around the local area, which also includes Goldsmiths and introduced us to his curated exhibition "Chip on Your Shoulder”. A little known fact is that the term ‘Chip on Your Shoulder’ came from the Deptford Dockyard. Eighteenth century shipbuilders worked tirelessly during a period of employer corruption and wildly fluctuating wages. On many occasions they did not get paid at all. They continued to work and, to survive, would take the scraps of wood that were not being used to sell in local markets. Arduously carrying these large sacs of wood chip to sell, they were the first it is said, to have had a ‘chip’ on their shoulders. The connotation today retains some of this history and Deptford itself has a long history of being a place of labour violence.

Download the walkshop programme and related research here