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Symposium Communalities, urbanities and artistic commonalities

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Birkbeck University of London

School of Arts

43 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PD

United Kingdom

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The symposium Communalities, urbanities and artistic commonalities will interweave ideas of art, activism, politics and urban commons, aiming for a dialogue around how we understand the creation of interdisciplinary platforms of exchange and community action in relation to artistic practices in different locations.

Increasingly creative practitioners have re-imagined and realized new structures of living together, resisted civic and political injustices, proposed alternatives to privatization of social housing structures and created formats for collaboration with different marginalized and mobile communities within contemporary cities. The artist’s role, however, in cultivating new imaginaries, communities and bridging differences is often juxtaposed together to his/her involuntary reshaping of neighbourhoods which often ushers waves of gentrification and the visual capitalization of marginalization.

As our urban and rural commons are increasingly being privatized, the make-up of our cities is transformed via new patterns of global mobility and digital interactions. The segregated divided realities of urban experiences as understood both within local and global frameworks come into focus in this symposium, as well as the positioning of art within these debates. The potential of art to house debates related to civic politics within the urban environment will be explored by placing emphasis on how artistic and cultural practices focusing on social change are shaped, debated and explored.

Presentations | 13.00-15.00

Evanthia Tselika | Communalities, urbanities and artistic commonalities

Paul Watt | Territorial stigmatisation and the production of urban dystopias: the mainstream media at London social housing estates

Stephen Pritchard | Of the “Devil’s Party”: Creative Commons – A Marriage of Heaven and Hell?

Lorraine Leeson | Situated Art Practice and Strategies for Change in London’s East End

Sophie Hope


Dialogue | 15:00-17:00

Respondent | Jane Trowell, University of Lincoln

The dialogue will involve presenters and symposium participants so as to consider ideas around art, activism, politics and urban commons. We will be addressing:

- New structures of living together – refugee realities and the implication of art.

- Gentrification and the visual capitalization of marginalization.

- Cultures of global mobility and digital interactions.

Initiated by | Evanthia Tselika, Assistant Professor University of Nicosia, Cyprus & Associate Research Fellow, School of the arts, Birkbeck University of London

Supported by

Corkscrew Network, Practice based/led research at Birkbeck

Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community (BRAKC)

Birkbeck Architecture Space and Society Centre


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Birkbeck University of London

School of Arts

43 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PD

United Kingdom

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