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Reclaim The City: Another World Is Possible

Part 1 Project 2015
Rebecca Turner
Leeds Beckett University Leeds UK
London has been termed the most unequal city in the developed world.

The ‘trickle down’ effect of the Government’s austerity policies has been to erode social advances of the last 50 years, and London has become a city of controlled spaces: public space in which the public is not welcome.

Canary Wharf is the paradigm: the focus of London’s new wealth situated in Tower Hamlets, the borough with highest levels of inequality and child poverty. The infrastructure divides more than it connects, and drives out the pre-existing community.

At times of crisis, activists find a collective solution. As in the ‘termite theory’, the outcasts from Canary Wharf repossess the empty spaces at the heart of the capitalist system.

Using subterranean networks to enter target buildings and unoccupied floors, they hack into electronic systems, make their own infrastructure and survive off abundant waste. Empty space is transformed into manufacturing areas; the connection between producer and user is restored.

The steel and glass grid is dismantled and restructured to bridge the towers and reclaim the dock. Paper is recycled for propaganda; water and food are used up. Once the building has been exhausted the nomads move on. Piece by piece they reclaim their city, leaving the empty shells of capitalist temples in ruin.

Rebecca Turner

Tutor(s)


2015
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