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THE DISLOCATION OF CULTURE Ryan Blackford

ARCO13

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Photo - Brick Lane: by Ryan Blackford

Š Author


THE DISLOCATION OF CULTURE Ryan Blackford A comparative analysis of London’s ethnic enclaves This essay is a study of two of London’s most prolific cultural ‘hotspots’, Chinatown and Brick Lane. The study intends to provide comparisons between these two very different places and determine the mechanics that have shaped what they are today and where they are headed in the future, particularly in regards to contested territory between majority and minority. By suggesting an analysis of these conflicts and posing questions in relation to cultural theorist Homi Bhabha’s ideas of ‘location’ of culture, the essay suggests a movement instead towards the notion of a ‘shared’ territory as opposed to a ‘contested’ one; “What is theoretically innovative, and politically crucial, is the need to think beyond narratives of originary and initial subjectivities and to focus on those moments or processes that are produced in the articulation of cultural differences.”1 Personal interpretation of these issues has lead me to follow a line of enquiry that is based around ‘how’ these places are different rather than ‘why’. The resultant focus of this approach is based around the analysis of [in]formal monuments; representations of conflict, tension and appropriation that are manifest within the urban environment. These monuments form the basis of the investigation, providing a resource that can easily be tapped into in terms of identifying how demographic groups relate to each other. I believe that it is through these [in]formal monuments that the realities of these spatiocultural mechanics become apparent, not necessarily through the media, common perceptions and formal architectures. It is becoming increasingly relevant that culture, and indeed the value of culture, is being consumed rapidly as a resource in the society of today. The question of whether this consumption and homogenisation is sustainable is covered extensively, particularly in the context of the ‘ethnic enclaves’ such as Brick Lane and Chinatown. Cultural sustainability and the role of the Architect or City Planner within these mechanics and processes are questioned and analysed in the hope of preserving the rich tapestry of diversity and multiculturalism that London has to offer for both majority and minority.

1  Bhabha, Homi K., ‘The Location of Culture’ (London: Rouledge - 1994), p.1. 3


Photo - Brick Lane: by Ryan Blackford


Introduction London is a city of many ‘Others’, a city of convolution and complication that reflects both experientially and demographically. It is a city that cannot be understood through map or diagram. With around 55% of it’s population being considered part of an ‘ethnic minority’, London can be considered as one of the most ethnically diverse places in the world, one of the few places where majority is in fact minority.1 As a result of such diversity, we see the production of a certain type of spatial phenomena, the ‘ethnic enclave’, a place within a place - a representation of a community and its territories. This essay intends to address these values of minority or ‘Other’-ness in the context of a dominant social structure framework, the ‘ethnic enclave’ within the ‘dominant’ host city. Brick Lane and Chinatown are interesting case studies in this respect as they both illustrate the contact between majority and minority values, although in very different ways and to different consequences. They act as ‘flagships’ of their respective territories - in this case the boroughs of Westminster and Tower Hamlets (fig. A) - symbols of a particular minority that manifest values of each community. I hope to explore and interrogate and compare the spatio-cultural practices that occur within these places in an attempt to understand both how minorities appropriate or ‘act’ and how the majority then influences or ‘reacts’ in turn.2 “What is theoretically innovative, and politically crucial, is the need to think beyond narratives of originary and initial subjectivities and to focus on those moments or processes that are produced in the articulation of cultural differences.”3

Part I : Analysis Chinatown or the Urban Theme Park Let us look first at Chinatown, a place produced from necessity; the first wave of Chinese immigrants, sailors of the East India Company and their families, settled in the area and found themselves out of work when the shipping industry declined during the early 20th century. British soldiers returning from the far east brought with them an appetite for Chinese cuisine, a lifeline for the unemployed residents of Chinatown.4 This process fabricated Chinatown as we know and understand it today, as a place that has never truly been ‘for’ the Chinese but instead an attraction for others.

1  Cohen, Norma, ‘White ethnic Britons in minority in London’, Financial Times/UK Census 2011, http://www. ft.com/cms/s/0/4bd95562 [accessed 03.04.13]. 2  From now on, by using the term ‘Majority’ I am referring to the predominant social order within that particular society, in this case ‘White British’. 3  Bhabha, Homi K., ‘The Location of Culture’ (London: Rouledge - 1994), p.1. 4  Ville, Tom, ‘Through the Ages: A History of London Chinatown’, Chinatown London, http://www.chinatownlondon.org/page/through-the-ages/3/4 [accessed 03.04.13] THE DISLOCATION OF CULTURE: Ryan Blackford

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The result is a rather fantastical representation of ‘Chineseness’, one skewed by capitalism and the formal values and requirements of the dominant society. De Certeau explains the relationship between the representation and its use in society as one of manipulation and hierarchy; “The presence and circulation of a representation [...] tells us nothing about what it is for its users. We must first analyze its ‘manipulation’ by users who are not its makers. Only then can we gauge the difference or similarity between the production of the image and and the secondary production hidden in the process of its utilization.”5 Considering this in the context of Chinatown and the concept of Orientalism, the image of China and ‘Chineseness’ that we receive from Chinatown is much the subject of this ‘manipulation’ from ‘users who are not its makers’. It is an image that has been adapted to suit the formal values of the western world and be consumed as a product in this way; an image that makes a spectacle of itself. Edward Said explains in ‘Orientalism’; “The Orient was almost a European invention, and had been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences. Now it was disappearing; in a sense it had happened, its time was over.”6 Chinatown seeks to preserve these imported views of the ‘Orient’ for their exotic qualities in spite of them being no longer existent and perhaps even slightly fictional. In being an ‘untrue’ representation of the community (the ‘Other’) it seeks to represent it becomes a kind of inhabited theme park (even with its own colour scheme (see fig)), bringing with it a diminished sense of place and identity.7 The only amenities that appear to be really ‘for’ the Chinese community are a plethora of casinos and betting shops that only seem to illustrate this majority-minority manipulation even further.

5  De Certeau, Michel, ‘The Practice of Everyday Life’ (Berkeley : University of California - 1984), p.xiii. 6  Said, Edward, ‘Orientalism’ (New York: Pantheon - 1978), p.1. 7  When referring to ‘sense of place’ in this instance I am referring to the sense of place held by the person themselves, as opposed to geographic characteristics. THE DISLOCATION OF CULTURE: Ryan Blackford


Fig. B - The Chinatown ‘Red’ colour scheme - photo : by Ryan Blackford

Fig. C - Bi-lingual betting shop signage.- photo : by Ryan Blackford

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Fig. E - Majority/minority heirarchies on Brick Lane: by Ryan Blackford

Fig. D - Evolution of Brick Lane Mosque.: by Ryan Blackford


Brick Lane or the Londoner’s Canvas Unlike the more ‘static’ Chinatown, Brick Lane has a reverberant historical context of temporality, being called home to London’s French Huguenot, Jewish and Bengali communities (consecutively) since the early 1800’s.8 9 Built in 1743 and serving first as a Church, then becoming a Synagogue, the Brick Lane Mosque reflects this transient relationship between culture and space. Although perceived as a transient area with the ability to consistently re-invent itself, it is still called ‘home’ to a community and still manifests cultural values to some degree.10 The difficulty here is that by being a ‘decorated shed’ - a place of function over spectacle - it does not ‘express’ these values outwards for benefit of the majority, unlike Chinatown. As a result, the majority’s perception of Brick Lane is that it does not particularly ‘belong’ to the Bengali community, even though the majority of the population are of Bangladeshi origin.11 Observations of this perception can also be made from the toponymy of ‘Brick Lane’ itself; why is the area not collectively known as ‘Banglatown’?12(see appendix) ‘Brick Lane’ implies nothing of any cultural territory or ownership, rather it is a ‘quintessentially British’ name that could be placed anywhere. Despite this, Brick Lane still acts as a cultural anchor point for the Bengali community, one that functions well in preserving ‘identity’ and maintaining cultural integrity of one of the poorest communities in London.13 It is precisely in its ability to re-invent itself that Brick Lane and the surrounding areas of Spitalfields and Whitechapel have found themselves subject to a different social process, the emergence of a young ‘creative’ industry based around cultural capitalism. This type of industry thrives off of the ‘unspectacular’, a blank canvas in the form of a ‘decorated shed’. As Andy Pratt writes, “The name ‘Brick Lane’ functions as an international ‘brand’, conjuring images of a distinctive urban space.”14 This spatial ‘branding’ of the area brings with it an injection of values into the existing community, values of the majority competing with values of minority. As the area becomes ‘trendy’ it attracts attention as a desirable place, subsequently pushing up property prices and encouraging redevelopment, creating a process of displacement 8  Melvin, Jeremy, ‘London Calling’, ‘Architectural Design’, Vol.75-5 (2005), pp.8-15. 9  Oakley, K. and Pratt, A.C, ‘Brick Lane: Community-Driven Innovation’, ‘Local Knowledge: Case studies of four innovative places’, NESTA Kings College London, pp28-39 10  Oakley + Pratt, ‘Brick Lane: Community-Driven Innovation’, p.30 11  Tower Hamlets Partnership, ‘Ward Profile: Spitalfields’, ThisBorough, http://thisborough.towerhamlets.gov.uk/ default.asp [accessed 08.04.13]. 12  The ward itself is actually called ‘Spitalfields and Banglatown’, and even referred to compassionately by the Bengali community as Banglatown. However the term is relatively unused in mainstream media and the general population. 13  Eade, J, ‘Identity, Nation and Religeon: Educated Young Bangladeshi Muslims in London’s East End’, ‘International Sociology’, 9 (1994), p.379. 14  Oakley + Pratt, ‘Brick Lane: Community-Driven Innovation’, p.32. 11


Fig. G - Brick Lane Mosque (center). by Ryan Blackford


and confusion within the original Bengali community.15 Pratt goes on to argue that this fragmentation is perhaps based on class friction as well as cultural difference: “While the diversity of Brick Lane is one of its selling points, the picture we derived from interviews was one of fragmentation, not necessarily along ethnic lines, although this exists, but along social class lines. If the innovation of Brick Lane comes in part from the mixing of communities, people and ideas, then this mixing does not run deep, with possible implications for sustainability.”16 The cultural confusion in the area seems to have culminated in recent proposals from the local council to create a so-called ‘culture trail’ in the area. This £1.85m development includes two hijab-shaped arches at each end of Brick Lane that have been met with extensive opposition from both communities, reflecting the contesting of territory between majority and minority and this apparent ‘need’ for one community to speak and act on behalf of a ‘lesser’ other.17

15  Thomson, Ian, ‘On Brick Lane: Review’, The Telegraph Online, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/ non_fictionreviews/3667751/From-Jewish-cockneys-to-City-slickers.html [accessed 29.04.13] 16  Oakley + Pratt, ‘Brick Lane: Community-Driven Innovation’, p.32. 17  Dangerfield, Andy, ‘Brick Lane Arches Plan Criticised by Residents’, BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/ england/london/8517791.stm [accessed 20.4.13] 13


Fig. H - Ornamentation is applied independently in the form of graffiti. by Ryan Blackford


Part II : Comparison The Duck and the Shed On face value, we can draw comparisons of these places with Venturi and Scott-Brown’s theory of ‘duck and decorated shed’. The ‘duck’ substitutes structure and program for ‘an overall symbolic form’, much like Chinatown substitutes it’s principle as a place of ‘Chineseness’ for a symbolic (and spectacular) representation.18 On the other hand, the ‘decorated shed’ submits its form to suit a specific function or system while applying it’s ornamentation independently, in much the same way that Brick Lane operates as a functional space in which the program holds preference over any kind of symbolic expression. Both Chinatown and the ‘duck’ ‘are what they are’ and as a result they are unable to be anything else; you couldn’t imagine Chinatown in it’s current form as anything other than Chinatown. In a ‘decorated shed’ such as Brick Lane you could simply change the signs and it would become something else. The Brick Lane Mosque building reiterates this theory in the sense that the only change through 3 waves of immigrant communities is the sign above the door (see fig.). Of course the use of these analogies can only offer a simplistic insight and point of comparison between these very complex spatial phenomena. The analogies used are what is ‘perceived’ at face value and the actual mechanics of these places no doubt throw up complexities within. These ‘face value’ observations should still have importance as they are, after all, how the majority perceives that particular place and the social group (‘minority’) it represents. In Lefebvrian terms it is the ‘representational space’ of the majority; it is the space that is “directly lived through its associated images and symbols.”19

18  Venturi, R, and Scott-Brown, D, ‘Learning From Las Vegas’ (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press - 1977), pp. 90-91. 19  Lefebvre, Henri, ‘The Production of Space’ (London: Blackwell - 1991), p.39. 15


Chinatown - based on ‘New China’ restaurant. by Ryan Blackford

Brick Lane - based on ‘Old Truman Brewery’ building. by Ryan Blackford


The [in]formal Monument For me, these two very different places represent two ways in which minority culture ‘attempts’ to integrate into a dominant environment; the offering of a service/spectacle and the chameleonic appropriation space for one’s own specific needs. I am not suggesting these are definitive archetypes of how cultures ‘collide’ but more strong examples of the mechanics that can occur. Although subject to very different processes they both boil down to conflicting senses of territory and place between minority and majority. From observing and analysing these places, it seems that objects that have ‘monumental’ value are key in illustrating this conflict of formal and informal values. I will refer to these monuments from now on as [in]formal, offering manifestations of both formal and informal values simultaneously. The Brick Lane proposal mentioned earlier is a prime example of this, a monument conceived by the ‘majority’ for the ‘minority’ and subsequently opposed by ‘minority’. As Bhabha writes; “It is in the emergence of the interstices - the overlap and displacement of domains of difference - that the intersubjective and collective experiences of nationness, community interest or cultural value are negotiated.”20 If we consider these interstitial spaces that Bhabha mentions as ‘[in]formal monuments’ then they can indeed become negotiators of collective cultural values and community interest. From the arches and pagodas of Chinatown to the graffiti murals in Brick Lane, all of these monuments manifest relationships and conflict between majority and minority in a visible, physical form. We can once again allude to Lefebvre’s triad at this point; the formal monument can be seen as conceived space (representations of), informal monuments are the relics of social spaces (spatial practice) and the perceived (representational) space is made up by how we, as spectators, see and react to these monuments in both reality and through the media.21 In order for us to truly understand how these ethnic enclaves operate, and in turn act thoughtfully as architects and designers/appropriators of space (avoiding ‘incidents’ such as the Brick Lane ‘Culture Trail’), as Bhabha suggests, we must ‘focus on those moments or processes that are produced in the articulation of cultural differences.’22 It is these moments of difference and conflict, manifested within [in]formal monuments as juxtaposition of social and conceived space, that tell us much more about these places than subjective and individual opinions such as those shown in the media; “Contradictions voice or express the forces and the relationships between forces that clash within a history (and within history in general).”23 20  21  22  23 

Bhabha, ‘Location of Culture’, p.2. Lefebvre, ‘Production of Space’, p.33. Bhabha, ‘Location of Culture’, p.1. Lefebvre, ‘Production of Space’, p.153 17


Fig. J - Examples of [in]formal monuments.. by Ryan Blackford

Fig. J Examples of [in]formal monuments.

If we consider these interstitial spaces that Bhabha mentions as ‘[in]formal monuments’ then they can indeed become negotiators of collective cultural values and community interest. From the arches and pagodas of Chinatown to the graffiti murals in Brick Lane, all of these monuments manifest relationships and conflic between majority and minority in a visible, physical form. We can


Practice and Environment Let’s continue with a brief summary of conclusions made so far:

Chinatown

Brick Lane

Peacock

Crane

Duck

Decorated Shed

For Majority

For Minority

Created from necessity

Created from Community

Distortion

Displacement

Manipultyaed by majority

Overlooked by Majority

Static

Amorphus

The Event

The Everyday

Practices Influence Environment

Environment Influences Practice

To touch on the final three comparisons in the table; static and amorphous refers to the transiency of each place (in terms of cultural change and development), the ‘event’ and ‘everydayyday’ reflects how space is used as perceived by a majority and the final comparison suggests how environmental (and possibly historical) factors influence the spacial practices of communities within these places. This final point is interesting as it makes a strong contrast in terms of how these communities ‘practice’ everyday life in a dominant host society. The Chinese community, by shaping their environment to suit their own economic needs, operates cleverly within a system that isn’t particularly suited to them. As David Harvey explains in ‘Rebel Cities’, this system is the “golden chain that imprisons vulnerable and marginalized populations within orbits of capital circulation and accumulation.”24 They may not be quite as vulnerable as Harvey suggests however, managing to create a thriving honey pot right in central London tailored to their own economic desires. De Certeau explains this relationship with his theory of ‘tactics’ and ‘trajectories’, suggesting that the ‘other’ can develop guerilla-style ‘tactics’ in order to adapt and subvert a dominant system; “trajectories [of ‘tactics’] trace out the ruses of other interests and desires that are neither determined nor captured by the systems in which they develop.”25 It seems then that the trade-off is between cultural integrity and economic gain; Chinatown manages to sustain itself economically at the price of becoming a theme park and Brick Lane retains its cultural values in the face of majority capitalization and resultant displacement. This leads us to question whether there can be a compromise in this situation 24  Harvey, David, ‘Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution’ (London: Verso - 2012), p.20. 25  De Certeau, ‘The Practice of Everyday Life’, p.xviii 19


or whether these communities have to leave their values at the door if they hope to survive. Either way, both outcomes inevitably lead to a ‘dislocation of culture’.

Cultural Consumption This relationship between ‘environment’ and ‘spatial practice’ also influences the production of these monuments that I mentioned earlier. Take for example the Chinatown arches commissioned by Westminster City Council in 1985; they stand as independent and non-compromising features in their environment, shaping the surrounding context - spatial practice ‘shaping’ environment. The Brick Lane ‘Crane’ (by local street artist ‘Roa’) does the opposite, allowing the context and environment to shape the monument.26 What is interesting here is that both monuments are perceived as a ‘brand’ (something to take photos of and post about on a blog) but the difference between them is the social processes that ‘consume’ this brand. The social processes I’m alluding to here are the processes outlined earlier that affect these places as a whole, the ‘cultural tourism’ of Chinatown and ‘cultural capitalism’ of Brick Lane. These processes operate very differently in terms of space and time; tourism like we see in Chinatown is fairly static in terms of space, it relies on one particular attraction that is revisited over and over again, being in effect a place for ‘events’. The cultural capitalism we see in Brick Lane relies on ‘trend’, the very nature of which suggests a short-lived experience that moves about in space. In terms of how it is ‘perceived’ by the majority, it is the difference between a series of ‘events’ and an ‘everyday’ lived space. (DIAGRAMS)

26  Unknown, ‘The Return of Street Artist Roa’, Spitalfields Life, http://spitalfieldslife.com/2010/04/28/the-returnof-roa-street-artist/ [accessed 08.04.13].


Conclusion The relationship between minority and majority is a reciprocal one; one that has undoubtedly shaped London to be the place it is today. I would argue however, that in an increasingly globalised society this process isn’t sustainable. Jan Pieterse contends that, “global interconnectedness leads to increasing cultural convergence, as in the global sweep of consumerism, in short ‘McDonaldization’.”27 What happens in this convergence is a consumption of culture itself, the resultant product being - as well as a new chain of ‘exotic’ restaurants - the ‘dislocation’ of culture.

What this diagram explains is that culture is a finite resource, being consumed by processes such as those occuring in Chinatown and Brick Lane. The values from minority and majority are interchanged and shared in a way that favors the dominant capitalist system and a ‘ceaseless accumulation of capital’, in short these places become ‘brands’.() An approach to address the sustainability of these places is important in terms of maintaining ‘diversity’ as opposed to fragmentation or misrepresentation of cultures; the equation should be balanced in terms of the exchange of values between majority and minority. The extreme results of these processes are the next EuroDisney or Kowloon City, a tawdry amalgam of misrepresented culture or the eradication of culture itself. In order to retain a balance between cultural ‘give and take’ there needs to be an element of understanding between cultures and a notion of ‘shared’ territory rather than ‘contested’ territory; a desire to celebrate difference rather than ‘consume’ it.28 By analysing and picking apart the mechanics of each of these places the intention was not to answer ‘why’ they are different but more ‘how’. These places are but two examples of how cultures can be ‘dislocated’ in one way or another but I’m not suggesting they are definitive binary archetypes of which all ethnic enclaves operate. Instead of placing these places of huge cultural complexity into a sort of model or calculation it becomes much more valuable to be able to read these places through their associated symbols, signs and monuments; consequentially how to understand them and ‘act’ as architects, planners or any other discipline for that matter. 27  Pieterse, Jan, ‘Globalization and Culture: Global Melange’ (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield - 2009) 28  Melvin, ‘London Calling’, pp.8-12. 21


Bibliography Benmayor, Rina, ‘Contested Memories of Place: Representations of Salinas’ Chinatown’, ‘Oral History Review’, Vol.37-2, pp.225-234. Bhabha, Homi K., ‘The Location of Culture’ (London: Rouledge - 1994). Cohen, Norma, ‘White ethnic Britons in minority in London’, Financial Times/UK Census 2011, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4bd95562 [accessed 03.04.13]. Dangerfield, Andy, ‘Brick Lane Arches Plan Criticised by Residents’, BBC News, http://news. bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8517791.stm [accessed 20.4.13]. De Certeau, Michel, ‘The Practice of Everyday Life’ (Berkeley : University of California 1984). Eade, J, ‘Identity, Nation and Religeon: Educated Young Bangladeshi Muslims in London’s East End’, ‘International Sociology’, 9 (1994), pp.377-394. Harvey, David, ‘Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution’ (London: Verso - 2012). Hickey, Amber (ed.), ‘A Guidebook of Alternative Nows’, (Journal of Aesthetics and Protest - 2012). Hyde, Rory, ‘Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture’ (London: Routledge - 2012). Lefebvre, Henri, ‘The Production of Space’ (London: Blackwell - 1991). Massey, Doreen, ‘For Space’ (London: Sage - 2005). Melvin, Jeremy, ‘London Calling’, ‘Architectural Design’, Vol.75-5 (2005), pp.8-15. Oakley, K. and Pratt, A.C, ‘Brick Lane: Community-Driven Innovation’, ‘Local Knowledge: Case studies of four innovative places’, NESTA Kings College London, pp28-39. Pieterse, Jan, ‘Globalization and Culture: Global Melange’ (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield - 2009). Said, Edward, ‘Orientalism’ (New York: Pantheon - 1978). Thomson, Ian, ‘On Brick Lane: Review’, The Telegraph Online, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/


culture/books/non_fictionreviews/3667751/From-Jewish-cockneys-to-City-slickers.html [accessed 29.04.13]. Tower Hamlets Partnership, ‘Ward Profile: Spitalfields’, ThisBorough, http://thisborough. towerhamlets.gov.uk/default.asp [accessed 08.04.13]. Venturi, R, and Scott-Brown, D, ‘Learning From Las Vegas’ (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press 1977). Ville, Tom, ‘Through the Ages: A History of London Chinatown’, Chinatown London, http:// www.chinatownlondon.org/page/through-the-ages/3/4 [accessed 03.04.13]. Unknown, ‘The Return of Street Artist Roa’, Spitalfields Life, http://spitalfieldslife. com/2010/04/28/the-return-of-roa-street-artist/ [accessed 08.04.13].

Appendix 1. Toponymy - The naming process of these ethnic enclaves is very interesting and can tell us a lot about how it is perceived by Majority and Minority. Take for example, the name ‘Little Italy’ as a simultaneous representation of each community’s values; the compassionate reference to a ‘little piece of home’ in a foreign environment and the simple fact that it isn’t an Italian place name. It frames the place as a tourist attraction, a small slice of Italian Culture, available a little closer to home. 2.This extract is taken from the Spitalfields Life blog talking about the street art of Roa in East London. The author’s description of the artist’s work offers an interesting take on how his paintings occupy some of the areas which he feels are dilapidated and in need of attention; how as a result the community by and large accepts and even condones him painting on their property due to the increase in value that comes with it. This contradiction between the values of the artist and the cultural capitalism that entails is a prime example of the processes occuring in Brick Lane; “Roa always asks before painting his creatures onto walls and has discovered that many owners are receptive to having large paintings enhancing their buildings, which can become landmarks as a result. The truth is that since these paintings take four to eight hours to complete, it is not an option to create them as a hit and run operation, especially if you want them to last. For the most part, Roa places his animals in unloved, unrecognised corners of the cityscape that are the natural home for scavengers and vermin. But once these spaces are inhabited, the creatures become the familiar spirits of their locations, living embodiments of these places, and our relationship with them parallels our feelings about the streetscape itself. Their powerful presence no longer permits us to remain indifferent.”

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ARCO13 Ryan Blackford  

THE DISLOCATION OF CULTURE This essay is a study of two of London’s most prolific cultural ‘hotspots’, Chinatown and Brick Lane. The study...

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