"The Latin sounds of Pueblito Paisa" is a user-led, heritage project that will document, record, archive, preserve and widely disseminate the history of "the Latin Village".
The project responds to an urgent need for capturing the history of Pueblito Paisa as it currently stands. Its rich heritage means so much to the Latin community, but is under thread. Thus, the project could not be more timely, as it will record and archive its history, while directly engaging with the affected, local community generating community cohesion outcomes.
The salsa beats that are heard at every turn of London's oldest Latin-run market, its traditional shops, salons and eateries are in danger of being silenced. There is an urgent need for the history of this unique area that has acted as a community hub to be captured and preserved.
Run for 26 months and in partnership with London Metropolitan University, the IARS International Institute will empower some of the market's most marginalised users, and through the use of oral history, photography and filming, they will run a bottom-up project to capture, celebrate and preserve the heritage of the market area. Participants will become part of the permanent record of their area's history and an inspiration for others.
With strong community participation and the holding of public events, exhibitions, training and awareness raising workshops, the project will create online material and a website as well as an archive with digitised and catalogued records that will be deposited with the Haringey Archive & Museum Service, ensuring a legacy.
The project will focus on recording and preserving the heritage of the Latin Village, focusing on its history. Also known as 'Pueblito Paisa', this is a rare and unique business village within an increasingly atomised national landscape. The historical Edwardian Wards Corner is a listed building and Pueblito Paisa is the authentic gateway into Tottenham’s historical corridor.
Since 1990, the Latin Village has been home to 61 Latin American run market units, mostly Colombian, Peruvian and Brazilian. There are also other traders in the Market from diverse backgrounds including Jamaicans, Indians, Iranians, Nigerians (and/or other British-born minorities). The historical richness of the market can be captured in a sentence that has become a saying: "Take the Victoria Line to Latin America"!
Pueblito Paisa is London's oldest Latin market and indeed the UK's only Latin Village. It is also a statement and a lived experience of Latin migration history, culture and identity. As well as being a Mecca for Latin American tourists from all over the world, it is a very important community hub for many people, not to mention the added value this registered community asset and over 60 independent traders bring in terms of tourism. It is 'community cohesion in action' in an area that has experienced a race riot in 1985 and where the 2011 UK riots started. The Village is also seen as a safe space for children and young people to socialise, learn about their history, and practise their culture. This is also where bi-lingual, British-born, Latin American children can freely practise their Spanish and experience a sense of belonging. Pueblito Paisa attracts thousands of visitors from around the world because of its originality in character.
The project will involve the Latin community in recording through oral histories the key chronological events surrounding the market and what made it today the community hub and pride for Latin American migrants. We will involve them directly as we know how much the Village means to them.