Friday, August 14, 2015

The Brixton Pound Banknotes

Jeremy Deller is the latest artist to have a go at designing money, but you have to be in Brixton to be able to use it.

The 2004 Turner Prize winner recently unveiled his psychedelic rendition of the Brixton Pound note, a local currency launched in 2009 by the community group Transition Town Brixton in an attempt to revitalize south London's economy by supporting small businesses in the neighborhood.

The Brixton Pound was conceived to "work alongside," rather than replace, the official British Pound Sterling.

B£5 features bright graphics on the front and a quote by Karl Marx on the rear.

Over 200 small businesses reportedly accept the currency, which supports the neighborhood by being exclusive to small shops, thereby encouraging residents to buy local.

Previous banknotes have pictured illustrious former inhabitants of Brixton, including Vincent van Gogh, the novelist C.L.R. James, David Bowie, and NBA star Luol Deng.

B£1 features Len Garrison, one of the founders of the Black Cultural Archives. The back features public street art from Stockwell Skate Park.

B£5 features Luol Deng, a British professional basketball player who plays at the small forward position for the NBA's Miami Heat. He has also competed with the Great Britain national basketball team. The reverse of the note is inspired by the Evelyn Grace Academy and features the Brixton Rec logo.

B£10 features David Bowie, English musician, actor, record producer and arranger who was born in Brixton. The back of the note is inspired by detailing from the Nuclear Dawn mural on Coldharbour Lane painted in 1983 during the peak of the Cold War.

B£20 features Violette Szabo, a World War II French-British secret agent. The reverse of the note is inspired by public street art from Electric Avenue: 'Foxes & Cherries' by Lucy Casson and 'Brixton Speaks' by Will Self.

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