The Legacy of the Oxfordshire Rising of 1596
Common Land explores the legacy of the Oxfordshire Rising of 1596, a rural protest against hardship and land enclosure. The Tudor period introduced a system of property ownership whose wounded landscapes persist to this day, expressing violence, inequality, dispossession and social stratification.
The 1500s were the dawn of centuries of sometimes violent land enclosure that have given us the English landscape we see today. Our ideas of land use, property and ownership began to take shape at this time, leaving us with spectacular inequality and notorious trespass laws. Even now, more than 90 per cent of the land in England is off-limits to the public and more than half of our rural land is owned by just 0.06 per cent of the population. Still with us, too, are social and legal systems that underwrite such imbalances and, frighteningly, the ease with which powerful interests can demonize poor and marginal social groups the better to take what little they have.
This project is both an interpretation and a documentary of remembrance of that process.
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