Housing and regeneration struggles in South London – Where do we go from here?


Event Date: 30 November 2017
Borough Road Gallery
London South Bank University
103 Borough Road, SE1 0AA, London

The Centre for Research in Digital Storymaking at London South Bank University presents:

Housing and regeneration struggles in South London

Roundtable : Where do we go from here?

Jane Rendell (Professor of Architecture and Art, The Bartlett School of Architecture)
Rastko Novakovic
and Steven Ball (filmmakers)
Architects for Social Housing
Mara Ferreri
(Marie-Curie research fellow, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)
David Madden
(Assistant Professor in Sociology, London School of Economics)

The roundtable series brings together organisers, activists, scholars, researchers, collectives, and art practitioners to engage collectively in discussions about both the present and the future of housing and regeneration struggles in South London. The objective of this series is to open a broader debate on the politics of the subject, politics of collective action and the possibilities and potential for new housing realities.

Throughout this century, South London has been a site of urban and housing regeneration. However, housing development projects that are led by capital and land value are undermining the needs of the local population and fostering new social and housing inequalities. Due to this polarisation, there has been a rise of initiatives that oppose these aggressive and violent processes. Individuals, groups and campaigns have been working on developing and deploying various tactics and strategies to defend the rights of local inhabitants, challenge mainstream narratives that enabled this practices and develop alternatives.

We propose three collective meeting and debates in order to try to push forward from what we have already achieved. We are interested in comparing the official language developed in policy documents, media and propaganda with the language used in activist and artistic narratives in post-Brexit and post-Grenfell London. We will discuss popularist political movements around housing, in comparison to micro politics of grassroots self-organising and mutual care. We aim to tackle complex intersectional issues inscribed in housing regeneration and housing struggles including class issues, gender issues, race and ethnic aspects of so called housing crises. In the discussions, we will explore the potential, limits and ambiguities of practices that we have developed in housing struggles from occupations, blockades, pressuring council and policy makers, resisting compulsory purchase orders (CPO) and demolition to practicing “the right to staying put” and “the right to return”, community art practices, radical research, writing alternative histories and developing alternative housing practices. We will attempt to honestly put ourselves in our own place to be able to undertake the messy and difficult task of reflecting our own positions in housing struggles.

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