Tribal Britain: Life on the fringe: the best of the rest

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The Independent Online
Conscious Collective: South-east London-based squat group - a collective of collectives. Originally turned a derelict community centre in Deptford into an alternative venue for bands, dance and theatre groups. Evicted after six months. Core of 10 people now organises the popular Fordham Park Urban Free Festival in Deptford, now in its fourth year. Motto: 'You can't kill the spirit.'

Dongas Tribe: One of the largest and most respected. Originally about 25 musicians, writers, artists and craftspeople lived in a bender village (tents made out of willow poles and tarpaulin) on the Dongas, a system of medieval trackways threatened by the M3 extension across Twyford Down outside Winchester. Six members were jailed for a month for defying injunctions to stay away from the site. Some have stayed in Winchester to hold days of action; others travel the country for direct-action road protests.

Hackney Homeless Arts Group: Squat collective that put on the first Hackney Homeless People's Festival in Clissold Park, north-east London, this summer, to heighten awareness of homelessness. A core of 10 and endless satellite members are pooling resources for benefits to raise money for next year's festival. Also campaigns against the Government's tightening of laws on squatting.

Dogs of Heaven: Pagan arts group from Hulme estate in Manchester. Well-

known among Glastonbury festival-goers for huge fire-sculptures ranging from giant wickermen to viking long-boats. Now that the estate is being demolished, the group's future is uncertain.

Open Mind: Collective of computer graphics designers, DJs and artists organising the new ambient parties - mellow, swirling music, Day-Glo backdrops of marine scenes, computer-generated projections, Indian tea, home-made cakes and an amoeba-like object that inflates and deflates using a vacuum cleaner motor. Core of four behind their 'Telepathic Fish' parties that have been held in squats in south-east London.

LS Diesel: Mysterious group of about 16 who run some of the most exciting and inventive squat parties in London; screaming faces projected on to a Perspex screen hanging from ceiling, members dressed Mad Max-style and 'rubber duck' sculptures made by Sam Irritant, who had a float at the Notting Hill Carnival. At least one ex-member of sculptors and party makers, the Mutoid Waste Company, is at the heart of LS Diesel. Also creates its own dub-influenced music. Media-shy. Deeply underground.

Exploding Cinema: Fifteen alternative film-makers who came together at Cool Tan two years ago. Currently screening films at Union Tavern in Camberwell, south London. Aims to provide a venue for 'low-budget and no-budget film-makers' and to present films in a more viewer- friendly environment than conventional cinemas. Motto: 'No taste, no funding, no pretension, nothing to lose.'

Zero Gravity: DJs, artists, percussionists and sound and lighting engineers who started off running an underground club in a squatted clock shop in Clerkenwell, central London. Working on a small record label and running a club on Wednesday nights in Soho. Motto: 'Keep your head in space and your feet on the ground.'

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