Britt Jurgensen, theatre maker and local resident

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved in 2up2down?

I’m German and I’ve only lived in Anfield for the last three years. I’ve worked in North Liverpool on community arts projects and site-specific theatre projects with Tuebrook Transnational but I always felt that I wanted to work in my own neighbourhood. I guess part of that is that I’ve moved around since the age of twenty, living in different places and the older I get, the more the question of place and belonging bothers me. Sometimes you live in a place and yet you don’t feel that sense of belonging.

So it all coincided, I was thinking and reading about it a lot and then I accidentally heard about the bakery one day. I realised that for me this is very much what belonging could be about – helping to create something. And all of a sudden this is not a nameless place, I meet people on the street and I’m invited to people’s houses and I’ve got friends in the area who are not necessarily the typical people I’d be friends with. I’m also very interested in co-ownership in housing and finding an alternative to a system, which in my mind, doesn’t work. The other thing is that the bakery is such an important concept – I mean – bread, we all get that!  Housing and food are such basic and essential things. 

I came to volunteer and through that I’m doing stuff that I never do during my day job running a theatre company; I am learning how to set up a bakery, how to write a business plan, how to run a business – which is great.

I understand that you are now working on putting together a tour to guide visitors around Anfield and 2Up 2Down during the Liverpool Biennial.  Could you tell us more about that?

Yes, I’m really excited about doing that – of presenting Anfield, telling it’s story and giving visitors a context and background to what is happening. It’s also daunting because there is no black and white – the recent history of this neighbourhood is very complex. So it will be great to have a tour that gets people asking more questions rather than offering some sort of definitive answer. I’d love the participants to go away wanting to know more but also to realise that Anfield is a great area that still has a very strong community.

What does living well mean to you?

I think I have a romanticised view of what living well is but I love chatting to people, dropping in for a cup of tea. I like it when you know your neighbours, drop in on each other or sit on the step for a cuppa. Living well is also having enough money to not have to worry every month about how you are going to pay the bills and rent – that’s the basics of living well for me.