event photo

Savage Messiah

Public lecture hosted by LSE Cities

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.


  • Laura Grace Ford

    Laura Grace Ford

    Laura Grace Ford is a London-based artist and writer concerned with spatial narratives, contested space, architecture, fiction and memory. Drawing on cognitive mapping and the derive, Ford interrogates place by mapping the psychic contours of the city. In 2013-2014, she was Stanley Picker Fellow at Kingston University and is currently a Somerset House Studios resident and TECHNE funded researcher at the Royal College of Art. Recent shows and projects include Digital Citizen (Baltic 2019), Open Your Palm, Feel the Dust Settling There (Somerset House, London 2018), Flâneuse (TCU, Texas 2018), The Sky is Falling (CCA, Glasgow 2017), and Ruin Lust (Tate Britain 2014).

  • Owen Hatherley

    Owen Hatherley

    Owen Hatherley is a writer and journalist based in London who writes primarily on architecture, politics and culture. He is the culture editor of Tribune and writes regularly for Architects Journal, Architectural Review, The Calvert Journal, Dezeen, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, New Humanist and Prospect. He is the author of Militant Modernism (Zero, 2009), A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain (Verso, 2010), Across the Plaza (Strelka, 2012), Landscapes of Communism (Penguin 2015), The Ministry of Nostalgia (Verso, 2016), Trans-Europe Express (Penguin, 2018) and The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space (Repeater, 2018).