Erasure and displacement: urban memoryscapes workshop #2

Workshop hosted by LSE Cities

This workshop will focus on the presence and absence of the past in urban landscapes, and the ways in which these pasts are made visible in the present. Cities are simultaneously spaces of continual flux and re-writing, and spaces laden with memory and its traces. Processes of displacement and the erasure of memory play out in multiple ways: via forced removal, traumatic displacement, natural disasters, as well as bureaucratic processes of planning, eviction, demolition and re-making. How and to what purpose might traces of these pasts be made visible in the contemporary landscape, and how do people claim memory and ownership over remembered landscapes and places? How can we understand the tensions between the future-orientated city as a space of change and growth, and the city as a space characterised by subsumed and sedimented layers of memory? Speakers are drawn from the fields of architecture, creative writing, anthropology, art history and visual arts, working on diverse sites including London, Johannesburg, and Jerusalem.

Rosa Ainley, Department of Architecture, Royal College of Art
Katharina Fink, Institute of African Studies, University of Bayreuth
Adelita Husni-Bey, Artist and Researcher
Felipe Lanuza Rilling, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Yair Wallach, Department of Languages and Cultures of the Near Middle East, SOAS

Chaired by Naomi Roux, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

The ‘Erasure and Displacement’ workshop takes place directly after, and thematically linked to, the exhibition Double Vision hosted by LSE Cities.
The workshop is free and open to all but booking is essential through Eventbrite here.



    Rosa Ainley

    Rosa Ainley is a writer on architecture and space, and a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art. Recent published work includes Building 519 and other Pfizer tales (Whitstable Biennale 2014) on the abandoned Pfizer complex in Sandwich, Kent and Are you waiting? (FutureCity; forthcoming 2015), on the new RSHP Cancer Centre at Guy’s hospital, London. Her practice-based PhD ‘Writing Alexandra Palace: Plurivocity as a method of cultural recovery of buildings’ explores how it might be possible to retrieve, in language, for the future and future users what a building has lost or not yet achieved, and how writing can contribute to reuse and regeneration.

    Katharina Fink

    Katharina Fink holds a PhD in cultural studies from the University of Bayreuth, where she is currently based as a postdoctoral researcher in the project “Revolution 3.0” located in the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies. Her previous work includes an international transdisciplinary project on Sophiatown based at the University of Johannesburg where she remains an affiliated researcher. Katharina is currently facilitating the literary estate of South African author Bloke Modisane by means of editing books and curating exhibitions linked to his legacy, “(In) A Way Back Home)”. Her other work includes writing and journalism:  she also runs the club www.sübkültü and works in museum/art education & unlearning.

    Adelita Husni-Bey

    Adelita Husni-Bey is an artist and researcher. After studying Fine Art at Chelsea school of Arts & Design, she obtained an MA in Sociology & Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths University. Her current research involves autonomy, Micro-utopias, pirate-utopias, the 'Land Issue', collective memory (the production of), dissent and control, anarchist pedagogy and free-schools. In 2012 she curated the Clay’s Lane Live Archive exhibition with Shama Khanna, the culmination of a four-year long research project. Working with ex-residents the archive maps the history of the Clays Lane housing co-operative, its founding in 1982 and its demolition in 2007 ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

    Felipe Lanuza

    Felipe Lanuza is a trained architect from the University of Chile and holds an M.Arch from the Catholic University of Chile. In his home country he practiced and worked as teacher and researcher in architectural and urban design, history and theory. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Architectural Design at The Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), funded by the Chilean government. Felipe is an Associate at Urban Transcripts and has presented his research in conferences and exhibitions in South America and the UK. Through an investigation on the notion of absence he explores processes of design and representation as a way of prompting new understandings and alternative interventions in the built environment.

    Yair Wallach

    Dr Yair Wallach is the Pears Lecturer in Israeli Studies in the Department of the Languages and Cultures of Near and Middle East at SOAS and is the head of SOAS’ Centre for Jewish Studies. His main interests lie in material, visual and urban culture in Palestine/Israel, from the late Ottoman period to the present day. He has written and published articles on maps as icons by Israelis and Palestinians; on the 2011 social protest in Israel; on “Shared Space” in Jerusalem; and on British rule in Jerusalem.

    Naomi Roux

    Naomi Roux is the current Mellon Fellow in Cities and Humanities at LSE Cities. Her research focuses on the intersections between memory and spatiality, in particular the construction and contestation of collective memory in public space. Her current work examines possibilities for alternative forms of public memory in urban contexts, and the potential for collective memory and heritage as participatory, democratised practices. She has recently completed a PhD at Birkbeck, University of London, focusing on collective memory, violence and post-apartheid urban transformation in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.