Kensington Narrators is a grassroots, community-led organization which launched in the wake of Grenfell. Two years on, it has created and delivered the Kensington Narrators Arts & Heritage Archive (formerly the Kensington Arts Archive & Heritage Project), in partnership with five other organisations, including Birkbeck University of London and Bishopsgate Institute (which houses the permanent physical and digitized archive). In 2019, it won the prestigious Birkbeck University of London Award for Public Engagement.
The archive project empowers and trains residents to catalogue existing artworks and memories, whilst also providing workshops within schools, youth groups and community buildings where locals can create new historically relevant works in the form of podcasts, videos, literature, graphic art, and photography.
Unique to this project is the method of cataloguing; the providers of the archive material provide their own documentation describing the item and what it means to them. This information is kept permanently alongside the item and its standardized cataloguing code. Traditionally, cataloguing has been done long after relevant historical events, and then solely by members of the establishment.
This project has also provided the use of professional recording equipment, and works with local young people to produce their own website exhibitions -- empowering them to take control of their own narrative, as well as to gain training for -- and understanding of -- the rapidly growing digital archive sector.