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Defence of the Public Realm

25 Jun 2012 - 18:00
25 Jun 2012 - 21:00

6pm, Monday 25th June 2012
Free event
Great Hall, Bishopsgate Institute,
230 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 4QH

The Subject
The privatisation of our public spaces along with arbitrary restrictions and controls - backed up with state of the art monitoring systems - is not only a threat to individual liberty, it also reveals a fundamental democratic deficit for society as a whole.
Who controls the ‘public’ realm? In who’s name and for what purpose is this space used? Why is the protester, photographer, skateboarder, rough sleeper and graffiti writer demonised and excluded?
Why are local authorities selling off record amounts of parks, playing fields and allotments to the private sector with little or no oversight from communities and local people?
During the Olympic games, the biggest mobilisation of military and security forces since the Second World War is to be implemented. How will our freedom to move through and engage in these spaces be monitored and restricted during this time?

The Speakers
Andrew Altman, Chief Executive, Olympic Park Legacy Company Limited.
Iain Borden, Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL and author of Skateboarding Space and the City: Architecture and the Body.
Anna Minton, writer and journalist. Author of Ground Control.
Robin Priestley, skateboarder and founding member of the Space Hijackers.
Anna Strongman, Project Director at Argent Group, working on Estate Management at King’s Cross.
Marc Vallée, documentary photographer whose work covers the London graffiti scene, anti-skateboarding architecture and political dissent.
Olly Zanetti, writer and journalist specialising in environmental issues, urbanism and political cultures.

The event will be chaired by Grant Smith, the acclaimed architectural photographer.