Since its original publication in 2011, Laura Grace Ford’s Savage Messiah has become essential reading for anyone interested in London’s contemporary banalization. Drifting around Kings Cross, along the Westway, and across the new Heygate boulevard, London appears to Ford more and more enthraled to the twin claims of ‘commerce and control’. At its worst, it ‘reeks of chronic depression’, she asserts. But it is also a place rich with creative possibility. And in her characteristic retreat to its fringes, the city reveals to Ford the ‘repressed desires’ that run ‘through hidden pipes and conduits and become counter narratives, a described jouissance in euphoric engagement with the city’.
Reissued this summer with a new preface from the prolific music critic, Greil Marcus, Savage Messiah maintains an unparalleled critique of London and its progressive demise under neoliberalism. To celebrate its launch, Laura Grace Ford will present excerpts from a new film, before discussing the topics that animate her work with acclaimed writer and cultural critic, Owen Hatherley.