Photos by Tony O'Brien
HSCB - HOE STREET CENTRAL BANK
HOE STREET CENTRAL BANK (HSCB)
HSCB is open in the former Co-Op Bank on Hoe Street in the London suburb of Walthamstow.
The bank is a key part of the feature documentary film ‘Bank Job’ bringing together a local community to examine how money and debt are made in our current economic system and look for alternatives that work more in the public’s favour.
Hoe Street Central Bank has been the centre of an act of citizen money creation. Throughout 2018 it hosted intensive weeks of money printing ( 12th-25th March and 5th-23rd June) with a team of local people of all ages and backgrounds working to print HSCB bank notes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50, 100 and 1000 on a public print production line.
In place of the Queen, leaders of the local foodbank, homeless kitchen, youth project and primary school graced HSCB banknotes. We raised £40,000 from the sale of these notes worldwide - £20,000 shared between the four note causes and £20,000 to buy and write off 1.2 million pounds worth of local predatory debt.
In October 2018 we printed our HSCB bonds and in May 2019 we exploded this 1.2 million pounds of local debt in a ‘debt in transit’ van in front of a Docklands skyline an artwork/action called ‘Big Bang 2.’ The bank became a public mint again - striking and casting coins from the exploded remains as artwork/interest for the global bondholders who helped make this happen.
Engaging people in a collective act of printing money and abolishing local debt in a former high street bank is a provocative intervention in dominant narratives around the economics that affect all our lives and the planet we live on. The bank has become a hub of economic education, action and events hosting programmes of lively debates and workshops - from debt and democracy to economics and ecology - bringing together big name pundits with local action groups at HSCB.
Spring 2020 will also see the completion and ambitious launch and distribution of the feature documentary film ‘Bank Job’ increasing the audience and impact of a call for economics justice.
Now, we prepare for a final heist - a bid to stay on in the bank and build it as a beacon of hope and action in the urgent fight for a fairer economy of people and planet - with humour, art, collaboration and community in our arsenal we get set to launch this in september.
The March 2018 opening of HSCB was supported by a small Waltham Forest Council Arts Development Grant, Indycube letting us in the bank, Lipman-Miliband Foundation and Raymond Williams Foundation, UCL Urban Lab.
we are so thankful to Indycube for their support of our presence in the bank. We won the Artquest Workweek Prize 2018 for a critical and risk taking project. This is DIY risk and production on overdrive and we are working on making money for the infrastructure and work that goes into making debt write off, rebel banking and feature film making and distribution happen.
MORE RECENT THANKS TO A WALTHAM FOREST BOROUGH OF CULTURE ‘MAKE IT WORK’ VENUE GRANT, COMMUNITY WARD FUNDING, ARTSADMIN AND ARTNIGHT, NETWORK FOR SOCIAL CHANGE and arts council.
The space is an indycube co-working space and is open for co-working 5 days a week 10-5pm. SUMMER 2019 SEES THE BANK OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AT WEEKENDS AND DURING EVENTS. SEE PROGRAMME HERE.
HSCB - Hoe Street Central Bank
The Bank / Indycube Walthamstow
151-155 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, London, E17 3AN.
WALTHAMSTOW CENTRAL 3 MIN WALK
WALTHAMSTOW QUEEN'S ROAD. 10 MIN WALK.