Social Science blog

19 November 2015

Visual Urbanism: Locating Place in Time

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On the 29 May 2015, the British Library collaborated for the third time with the International Association of Visual Urbanists to bring together an eclectic mix of researchers and practitioners from various backgrounds, including the social sciences, geography and the arts, to think about and discuss the use of visual and multi-sensory research methods within urban research.

Presentations, films, sound art and panel discussions engaged with a fascinating range of different sites through a variety of historical moments. These included the voices of different generations of people who frequent a community-owned pub in Peckham, present-day absences in Palestine through the memories of Palestinians exiled in Poland, images of redeveloped Victorian-era railway viaducts in Manchester and experiences of Toronto via an archive of early postcard photographs.

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The movement of people in and out of London was told in their own words through the medium of billboards placed around the city itself, links between the Thames Estuary and South West China were explored through an archaeological art practice, visual images of Hackney Wick were read as a reflection of the movement of people in and through the East End of London and modernist utopian architecture and social ideals were connected to contemporary housing aspirations in and around London through the practice of site-writing.

Jude England, Head of Research Engagement at the British Library, talked about some of the Sound, Moving Image and Photographic collections held here at the Library as well as the UK Web Archive, an ever-growing repository for UK websites.

You can listen to a podcast of the presentations below. Please follow the links to access the films that were screened.

Introduction [00:00:11]

Jude England, The British Library

Keynote Speaker [00:14:15]

Michael Keith, COMPAS, University of Oxford

Assembling the complex city

Chair: Rachel Jones, International Association of Visual Urbanists

Panel 1: Making Sense of the Past [00:51:08]

Chair: Paul Halliday, Goldsmiths, University of London

Sarah Turner, University of Kent [00:58:03]

Public House: A spoken word/ text/ opera/ film

Phil Hatfield, The British Library [01:16:08]

Toronto by postcard: experiencing a city through historic photographs

Dominika Blachnicka-Ciacek, Goldsmiths, University of London [01:32:08]

Following, mapping and performing memories of Palestine

Panel 2: Mapping Urban Temporalities [01:49:41]

David Kendall, Goldsmiths, University of London

Brian Rosa, Queens College, City University of New York [01:51:55]

Spaces of Infrastructure, Visuality, and the Post-Industrial Imaginary

Rebecca Ross, Central Saint Martins [02:13:46]

London is Changing in Context

Rupert Griffiths, Royal Holloway and Lia Wei, School of Oriental and African

Studies [02:32:55]

Between earth, air and water: reimagining urban peripheries through

abandoned defensive architectures and rock cut burial sites.

Jane Rendell, The Bartlett, UCL [02:55:58]

May Mourn

Film Screenings

Écoute (2015) – Karla Berrens

Estuary England (2014) – Simon Robinson

The Region (2015) – Felipe Palma

Sky Lantern – Rebecca Locke

Point/Vector (2012) – Rupert Griffiths

Gone but Not Forgotten (2015) – David Kendall

Panoramas of Time: Kaleidoscope 2 (2015) – Rachel Sarah Jones

Edifices of Separation (2012) – Tomo Usada


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