One of London's well-remembered but fairly unknown histories is that between the early 1800s to the 1950s up to 250,000 working-class Londoners – mainly women and children – would leave the East End to spend the late summer weeks in the Kent countryside to "go picking," creating a unique urban-rural relationship and lived culture.
'Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks' is a long-term art project by Myvillages to revisit the 'picking days' while at the same time opening up a full circle of fruit harvest, beverage production and drinks trade as a collective endeavour.
'Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks' looks at the complex social currency, histories and politics of access to the countryside, food production, everyday culture and current interest in commoning. These ideas are explored by navigating relationships between rural processes, urban communities and local land use in order to establish a new kind of company.
In its proposition, 'Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks' is reminding us that rural and urban conditions are inherently connected in multiple ways, and the book follows the productive and reproductive cycles of the project in order to describe and expand on the different anticipated and practiced meanings of the project's four word title.