Marked by high levels of diversity and gentrification, changing demographics in east London highlight the need for new analytical tools to examine how formerly familiar spaces must now be re-negotiated. Conceptual frameworks of habit and affect have informed the contemporary analysis of how encounters with difference unfold within transforming cityscapes. However, findings from a participatory research project with young people suggest a more reflexive management of classed and racialised encounters is occurring as accumulated cultural knowledge is tested and revised from which new practices emerge. Attention to processes of reflexivity highlighted the capacity of young people to consciously weigh options and choose a range of strategies under conditions of ‘breach’, including: degrees of acceptance of change; re-working space use through avoidance and adapting everyday practices such as dress and food; as well as developing attributes that enable engagement such as empathy. Feelings of judgement appeared as a dominant driver of reflexivity, while disposition and place contextualised and modified responses. Yet, while the possibilities for subjective re-evaluation and adaptation are apparent, the study raises questions of inequality in the expectation that young people are being asked to adapt to new cultural norms not of their making.
Presenting on the CHASH project at the second biennial research workshop organised by Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) and Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh (Wednesday 10 May to Friday 12 May 2017).
“Urban Change” pursues the broad theme of cinema and the city, while addressing more precisely how moving image culture – in all its changing forms and formats, both aesthetically and technologically speaking – has responded and continues to react to the ongoing economic, social and political transformation of urban environments. These environments are understood as physical spaces but also as places to live, work, love and play, both individually and in terms of interpersonal and community relationships. While the cities of Pittsburgh and London remain significant topics for exploration, the geographical and historical coordinates of this workshop are entirely open, and participants will be exploring urban contexts and examples drawn from France, Algeria, Canada, India, Russia, Japan, Hong Kong, Denmark and Sweden.
The workshop is open to all, and we will be especially happy to welcome students and researchers working across the range of research areas and disciplines that BIMI is committed to representing as part of its mission: Film and Media, English, History of Art, Languages, Law, History, Philosophy, Politics, Geography, Psychosocial Studies, Applied Linguistics, and Psychological Sciences.
Two new publications from the Creating Hackney as Home project are now available online: