WILLIAM BUNGE MEMORIAL LECTURE FOR 2019
@The Bartlett school of Planning UCL Tavistock Street London WC1
Ken Worpole : Documentary aesthetics and the human landscape
In his ground-breaking collaborative work, Fitzgerald (1971), geographer William Bunge went out of his way to praise his publisher Alfred Schenkman's 'understanding of the needs of geographers for maps and photographs and eccentric sizes and formats…(needed) to describe the human landscape as they freely see it.’ In this lecture, Ken Worpole will look at the compelling documentary aesthetic which Fitzgerald shares with other pioneering collaborations between writers and photographers, including James Agee and Walker Evans in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), and John Berger and Jean Mohr in A Fortunate Man (1967) and The Seventh Man (1975). In more recent times W.G. Sebald’s idiosyncratic use of found photographs in The Emigrants, has revived interest in the imaginative juxtaposition of text and image which, he will argue, continues to offer radical opportunities for recording and interrogating landscape, townscape and social history today.
Ken Worpole is one of our leading commentators on the changing rural and urban landscape of 21st Century Britain. He has collaborated with photographer, Jason Orton over many years including 350 Miles: an Essex journey (2011) and the recent widely acclaimed The New English Landscape (2017)
In this talk Phil Cohen will discuss a number of political, conceptual and methodological issues which have arisen from the research and development of A Citizen’s Atlas of London. This project, initiated by the Livingmaps Network, is setting out to train and support citizen mappers located in regeneration hot spots across London, enabling them to use a variety of participatory mapping approaches to explore and represent their own alternative visions of the city’s past, present and future.
To what extent can participatory action research be considered an effective tool for doing citizen social science? How far can an ethno-cartographic approach succeed in releasing the sociological imagination of groups who find themselves marginalised in the political and planning process, disqualified by the educational system, and condemned to an increasingly precarious economic existence?
To address these questions, Cohen will present and discuss a video of two map-making session: the first with a senior citizen’s group, the second with a mixed ability group of children and young people, both drawn from working class and minority ethnic communities in East London’s docklands which have suffered historic neglect by the civic planning authorities, but now find themselves caught up in a process of accelerated gentrification.
Phil Cohen is a Senior Visiting Research at the Institute of Advanced Studies and an Emeritus Professor at the University of East London. He has spent over forty years working with the communities of East London in a wide variety of research, educational and cultural projects, tracing the impact of structural and demographic change on livelihoods, lifestyles and life stories, with a special focus on perceptions of class, gender and ‘race’. He is the author of a widely acclaimed study of the 2012 Olympics and its impact on East London, On the Wrong Side of the Tracks (Lawrence and Wishart 2013) and Archive that, Comrade: Left legacies and the Counter Culture of Remembrance (PM Press 2018). He has also written a memoir Reading Room Only: memoir of a radical bibliophile (Five Leaves 2013) and Graphologies (with his partner, the painter Jean McNeil), a collection of poetry and fiction, published by Mica Press in 2016.
The event is free. Further information and booking:
Hosted by The Centre for Cultural Studies Research, University of East London.
Tickets: £15/7.50 Bookings and full conference details on EVENTBRITE
A day of discussions bringing together different generations of writers, researchers and activists to consider the political and cultural legacies of 1968, and their bearing on the future prospects for a more democratic, equal and participatory society. Our aim is to help rekindle the intellectual excitement that characterised the political counter culture of the Sixties but focused on contemporary issues.
‘1968’, Coming of Age Stories and the Quest for Uncommon Ground. Phil Cohen.
Introduced and chaired by Andrew Calcutt.
To at last create a legacy in which there is no turning back: the politics of memory and hope in uncertain times. With Anthony Barnett, Darren Ellis, Jeremy Gilbert, Kenan Malik, Mike Rustin, Anne Querrien, Lynne Segal. Introduced and chaired by Phil Cohen.
Rethinking the Youth Question: From Learning to Labour to Generation Rent / On the ‘Wrong’ side of the tracks: Class, Gender, Ethnicity and Identity politics / Only Create ! Working Identities and Youth Cultural Industry / In a white unpleasant land: New ethnicities, old racisms before and after Brexit / Queerying the Labourhood: Redundant Masculinities, Gender Fluidity and the sexual politics of the working class city / ‘Nothing about us, without us’: Recognition, representation and knowledge/power in participatory research / Re-placing the local: navigating landscapes of material change in the global city / Living the Dream? East London, Gentrification and the 2012 Olympic Legacy / Spaced Out: Frontline cartographies between map and territory / Me Too? Self Disclosure, Celebrity Culture and the deregulation of moral economy – a feminist perspective / After 68: Political memory and the legacy of counter culture / ‘We are the Writing on Your Walls’: changing media of political discourse from agitprop to ‘fake news’ /
Contributors: Carolina Bandinelli, Anthony Barnett, Debra Benita_Shaw, Penny Bernstock, Shane Blackman, Iain Boal, Avtar Brah, Anna Bull, Judith Burnett, Andrew Calcutt, Phil Cohen, Nicole Crockett, Juliet Davis, Mike Duggan, Alberto Duman, Darren Ellis, Jonathan Gardner, Bob Gilbert, Jeremy Gilbert, Anthony Gunter, Jonathan Hardy, Anders Hoeg_Hansen, Robert Holland, Pat Holland, Debbie Humphry, Syd Jeffers, Debbie Kent, Jina Lee, Ben Little, Aura Lounasmaa, Rob MacDonald, Stephen Maddison, Kenan Malik, Dan McQuillan, Angela McRobbie, Samer Moustafa, Orson Nava, Mica Nava, Darren Nixon, Anoop Nyak, Daisy Payling, Sol Perez, Ann Phoenix, Dick Pountain, Hilary Powell, Anne Querrien, Nora Rathzel, Catherine Rottenberg, Mike Rustin, Tony Samson, Lynne Segal, Ash Sharma, Emma Spruce, Valerie Walkerdine, John Wallett, Marta Welander, Garry Whannel, Alison Winch, Ken Worpolea and Nira Yuval_Davis.
Lunchtime film programme,
Reception and book launch: Archive that, Comrade: Left Legacies and the Counter Culture of Remembrance by Phil Cohen, published by PM Press, and Regeneration Songs: Investment and Loss in East London edited by Alberto Duman, Dan Hancox, Malcolm James and Anna Minton. Published by Repeater Books.