Voices, Cyanotypes & Writings from The Green Backyard
by Jessie Brennan
With an In Conversation between geographer Ben Rogaly and artist Jessie Brennan at 7:00pm
The financialisation of land and property is reconfiguring whole swathes of Britain’s cities from public to private, as a result of redevelopment. Peterborough, with its rapid expansion of housing, population and economic growth, alongside its environmental aspirations, is no exception: land is becoming a contested space with its uses bitterly argued over.
Re: development brings together voices, cyanotypes and writings from The Green Backyard, a ‘community growing project’ threatened with a proposed development by its owner, Peterborough City Council. It is an attempt to explore in the site one of Britain’s most contested territories: land ownership, and its radical political shift from communal to private.
This project is a collaboration between artist Jessie Brennan and the people who use and care for The Green Backyard. It is a contribution to the debates impacting communities across the UK, and raises many questions about what this community (and many others engaged in volunteer-run urban green spaces) stand to lose if the land were to be lost to development.
Contributing authors include: Sophie Antonelli (activist; co-founder of The Green Backyard); Dr. Alexandre Apsan Frediani (researcher of development practice; Lecturer at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL); Dr. Robert Biel (carpenter-historian; Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL); Dougald Hine (writer and social thinker; co-founder of Dark Mountain); Prof. Jane Holder (Professor of Environmental Law, UCL); Anna Minton (writer; Co-Director of UEL’s MRes course, Reading the Neoliberal City); Dr. Barbara Penner (architectural historian; Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL); Prof. Jane Rendell (artist-writer; Professor of Architecture and Art, and Director of History and Theory at the Bartlett School of Architecture); Prof. Ben Rogaly (geographer; Professor of Geography, University of Sussex); and Dr. Maria Walsh (writer and art critic; Reader in Artists’ Moving Image at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London).
The book is an outcome of Jessie's year-long residency with arts organisation Metal and funded by Arts Council England, Seedbed Trust, Peterborough Presents, and The Bartlett, UCL (through the artist's Visiting Research Fellowship, 2016).
Join the AA Bookshop for a drinks reception and an In Conversation between geographer Ben Rogaly and artist Jessie Brennan to launch this new publication and contribute to discussions on the politics of land use and value.