A new spririt of revolution at Stoke Newington's N16 Festival

A REFUGE for political and religious dissenters since the 17th century, Stoke Newington will be harping back to its revolutionary past this weekend. Banished from the confines of the rule-bound City of London, ranters and pamphleteers could write and spea

A REFUGE for political and religious dissenters since the 17th century, Stoke Newington will be harping back to its revolutionary past this weekend.

Banished from the confines of the rule-bound City of London, ranters and pamphleteers could write and speak their minds in the liberal atmosphere of what was to become N16.

Since then, free thinkers, political activists and creatives working outside of the cultural mainstream have been drawn to the area, including Daniel Defoe, Joseph Conrad, Marc Bolan, Mary Wollstoncraft, Paul Foot, Iain Sinclair, Nico, Edgar Allen Poe, Malcolm McLaren and Howard Devoto.

The 2009 N16 Fringe festival celebrates the spirit of creativity and free-thinking that is still a defining character of the ideological and cultural stronghold once famed for its cheap rent, kebabs and all night drinking dens.


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Running for four days and nights, starting tonight (Thursday), the N16 Fringe takes place in galleries, pubs, clubs, homes, warehouses, cafes and the street.

The festival encompasses music, poetry, art and performances from both established and up and coming artists based in Stoke Newington and Hackney, as well as an array of special guests.

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Ex-Stuckist and anti-art star Billy Childish will exhibit work in a show along with Martin Westwood, Ian Dawson and Sadie Murdoch at the Praxis Gallery in Belfast Road tonight (Thursday), while folksters Martin and Eliza Carthy perform at St Mary's New Church in Church Street tomorrow night (Friday).

Nearly all the events are free admission and a full programme is available at www.n16fringe.co.uk

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