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CFP: (Re)Visioning the Urban Imagination (London, November 28, 2014)

Call For Papers: (Re)Visioning the Urban Imagination London, November 28, 2014

Deadline: Aug 20, 2014

(Re)Visioning the Urban Imagination: The Art and Politics of Redevelopment

Richmond, The American International University in London is pleased to invite submissions for a One-Day Conference to be held at its Kensington Campus on 28th November 2014.

Over the last ten to fifteen years, London like most other global cities has experienced unprecedented levels of urban redevelopment.

Urban transformations have found powerful representational form in contradictory images of gritty television and film thrillers centred on crumbling tower blocks and run-down shopping precincts, on the one hand, and those of air-brushed brochures and advertisements of regeneration projects put out by private developers, on the other.

Underlying these images of the city is the politics of revisioning urban development, where the everyday life of inhabitants intersects the aspirations of politicians, planners, artists and activists.

(Re)Visioning the Urban Imagination seeks to address the representations of urban redevelopment by investigating the interplay of aesthetics and politics as it concerns competing imaginations of the transforming city. It is organised around a few key questions:

•    How do visions of redevelopment affect the socio-spatial

restructuring of the urban landscape?

•    How do the ways we represent and imagine the city affect the

politics of inclusion and exclusion in urban neighbourhoods?

•    Can the spaces of the urban, including walls, pavements, gardens,

and trees, inspire a sense of territoriality, active citizenship or a “right to the city”?

•    What is visual legacy of mega events, like the Olympics and the

World Cup, and what form/s does it take?

•    What is the nature of and ethical dimension/s of urban visual


In seeking to create an interdisciplinary conversation on these questions, we welcome papers from emerging and established scholars, urban planners, community representatives, artists and activists on the following themes and topics:

•    The representation of developing and developed urban space in

film, television and the creative arts

•    The role of the visual in the privatization of public space and


•    The politics of public art and role of artists in regeneration

•    Issues of cultural authenticity and the

reproduction/representation of urban space in visual culture

•    Strategic spatial interventions – graffiti, public art,

performance art, Flashmobs, walking tours, demonstrations

•    Case studies concerning visual legacy in the management of

sustainable and inclusive urban futures

•    Case studies of representations of urban based protests

•    Case studies of the visual material of urban social movements

•    Surveillance, CCTV, and policing sites in the city

•    New Media heritage sites (such as Historypin) and their role in

cultural sustainability of urban space

•    The use of digital “space” by small-scale community-driven

initiatives (blogs)

•    Visual research methods in urban contexts and experimental visual

research methods such as moving image, photo elicitation, and participative blogs in urban redevelopment processes

Please send abstracts of up to 300 words for a 20-minute talk to Nicola Mann and Susan Pell at by 20th August 2014. The organizers will announce all decisions about papers by Monday 15th September 2014.

For further information please contact the organizers at the above email addresses. The conference is free and open to the public.

Supported by the International Visual Arts and Culture (IVAC) and State, Power, and Globalization (SPG) research clusters at Richmond University.