Hackney Wick is changing fast. Is it 'the new Shoreditch'? What does that mean and why should we care? Who controls the story as the post-Olympic new-builds radically change the face of what was once the biggest artist colony in Europe? Where does its industrial past fit in? Is the culture and heritage of this unique location valued, or instrumentalised to drive property development? Why might we all have an interest in how this pans out?
As we emerge from a period of intense isolation, what is the role of cultural and informal spaces in our re-socialisation process and what's its place in the new Hackney Wick? Why do these liminal areas matter and why are they disappearing?
Writer/guide Simon Cole (Hackney Tours) has been documenting the changes for a decade and been involved with local community activism. Echoing Anna Minton, he asks us to consider who the new 'quarter' is for? The past is uncertain, so what's its future here?
Maja Jović is a lecturer in Architecture & Cities at Westminster University who looks at places of conflict and explores how we construct placemaking and memorial narratives. She juxtaposes the built environment with notions of national identity to explore their connection with elements like branding and power dynamics.
Together yet apart, they will lead a socially distanced group walk/conversation, drawing on pre-recorded content that will be sent to attendees ahead of the event. Bring your curiosity, an open mind – and your own thoughts.
After this one-hour walking conversation (all wheelchair accessible) we will then sit down for a 30 minute discussion (location TBC, Covid-dependent) where you will be invited to reflect on what we've seen and heard, or just to listen to the debate. To care, we have to be able to appreciate just why these spaces matter so much.