“Despite the City” saw today’s anti-capitalist protests

Today’s anti-capitalist revolt around the world did not start a couple of weeks ago in Wall Street, but has its roots in the 80s. The fears of “unequal redistribution of wealth”  first emerged and spread when the colonisation of the financial centers began, just when the London City annexed the docklands area. But only now the real protests have grown in power, with St Paul’s Cathedral yard and Brighton park being resolutely occupied in the past weeks.

“Despite the City” witnessed this movement of discontent since its beginnings in the 80s and documented it in a community-led video showing local residents under threat. They are filmed when confronting the planners and property dealers, who broke their promises about the “real” job opportunities. Relocating the world’s biggest banks and companies to the aptly named Isle of Dogs changed the realities of many. For sure!

You can buy this still very relevant documentary on corruption, lies and broken promises on Spectacle’s website.

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See our Despite TV project pages for more information and videos.
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An Urban media Practice: documentation, agitation, participation

Mark Saunders lecturing on the Urban Practices course at UCL:

An Urban media Practice: documentation, agitation, participation

8th February 3pm in Room 114, 26 Bedford Way, Department of Geography, UCL

Drawing on 30 years experience of independent and community based media practice in London, Brussels and Rostock Mark Saunders will describe the political and technological development of Spectacle’s practice and use of media in urban struggles for social justice in the built environment.

This will include, Despite TV, an innovative video co-operative in East London (1981-94), Jako Co-operative and the making of The Truth Lies in Rostock (90-98) establishing resident video groups in gentrifying Brussels (2000-2009) and long term video workshops on “regenerated” estates Silwood in Rotherhithe (10 years) and Marsh Farm Luton (15 years) and recent work on the London Olympics and Battersea Power Station.

Key Readings:

Olympics

Olympic project pages

Olympic blog

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station project

Battersea Power Station blog

Suggested further readings:

Surviving Participation Fatigue< Erased Social Geography

Video in the City: Possibilities for Transformation in the Urban Space

Advocacy, Participation and Non Governmental Organisations in planning : A report and video on Spectacle’s APaNGO work

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