Critical Excursion | Docklands Walk
This walk will move through the existing geographical site of what was in 1981 ‘The London Dockland Development Corporation’ (LDDC). The LDDC was the flagship of the radical right’s attempt to regenerate inner city London by minimising public sector involvement in order to incentivize global capital to take the lead in social and economic redevelopment.
The London Docklands Walk
Monday 27 November | 3-6pm
The London Docklands was at one point one of the world’s largest ports and central to the economic growth of the British Empire. As one of main port arteries connecting London to its colonies, the Docklands holds a rich and complex cultural tradition often neglected in understandings of the formation of British culture and society. The history of the Docklands can be read as a story of cultural and economic transactions, where Britain’s deep relation and dependence on its hinterlands played out in the metropolitan centre. Whether the lascar shipmen whose labour overwhelmingly contributed to the maritime wealth of the British Empire, or the Chinatowns in Limehouse and Shadwell associated with the tea and opium trade which were destroyed during the Blitz or the Jewish emigres who settled around St Catharine Docks who were persecuted by the British Brothers League and victim of the subsequent Aliens Act of 1905, the Docklands has been home to many marginal groups central to the story of Britain.
This walk will move through the existing geographical site of what was in 1981 ‘The London Dockland Development Corporation’ (LDDC). The LDDC was the flagship of the radical right’s attempt to regenerate inner city London by minimising public sector involvement in order to incentivize global capital to take the lead in social and economic redevelopment. As such it is seen by some as ground zero of many of the socially destructive tenets of the neoliberal turn in urban planning. Predominant among these tenets has been the rise in examples of social cleansing perpetrated by so-called ‘gentrification’ projects.
This walk will think about the ways processes of globalization when mediated through the cultural, social and historical peculiarities of particular landscapes manifest themselves spatially in uneven ways and often impact most severely those vulnerable, precarious and marginal groups. We will think about the difficulties of actively remembering the trauma of spatial displacements where evidences of such operations become difficult to read from the existing urban palimpsest. This project aims to create a dialogue between memory studies and urban geography in an effort to respond to what is becoming one of the defining experiences of late austerity.
To register, please fill in the form below.
Further logistical information will be sent directly to the registered participants.
Time: 3PM - 6PM
Andy Beckett (2016) “Cocaine and Glass” in Promised You a Miracle: Why 1980 – 82 Made Modern Britain.
David Harvey (1994) The Invisible Political Economy of Architectural Production
Paul Gilroy (1999) A London sumting dis… Ciritcal Quarterly, Vol. 41, no. 3
Silencing the Crowd | Friday 8th December.
This critical excursion, organised by the Space, Place and Time Research Collective, will invite participants to think about sound as both a tool for resistance as well as control. During the excursion we will problematize the affective and biopolitical potential of sound in the context of political action. Using recent London-based events as a point of departure for discussion, we will ‘sonically’ relive the event and question the echoing repercussions of technological advancements in sonic weaponry and crowd control. By situating ourselves through sound and text, we hope to expand the conversation and discuss more recent political actions (such as protests against Trump, neo-Nazi rallies in Charlottesville, the protests in Catalonia).
We will meet by the Thames in Westminster, at the location where the LRAD equipment was openly showcased by the Ministry of Defence during the Olympics in 2012. During the walk we will listen to the recordings of the 2011 England riots as archived by the “Mapping the Sound of Protest” library (a database of field recording collecting the sound of protest across the globe, organised and run by Cities and Memories collective) and afterwards will go on to discuss the provided readings and our experience of the walk at a nearby venue.
“Silencing the Crowd: Sound as Resistance vs Sound as Control” critical excursion will be followed by a workshop, which will take place at Goldsmiths later in the year.