A panel discussion exploring the types of culture being developed in London and whether or not local communities are benefitting from them.


02 June 2018


Total Refreshment Center, London, United Kingdom

Conversations on culture and creativity in 21st century London have been a part of our thinking since day dot. Partly because we are part of that world as an independent magazine. Half our team went to LCC (big ups!). Everyone has worked in the arts, or at the very least, likes art. Perhaps of more relevance however is that if you talk about urban development in London, or New York, or - insert city of your choice -, and not explore the question of ‘creativity’, ‘art’ or ‘culture’, you are missing a trick.

When we hosted ‘London in Limbo’ there were two topics which we didn’t have enough time to explore: gentrification, and the role of art, and by extension artists, in urban development. With hindsight that was probably for the better. Arman, who chairs our discussions, started his Masters in Urban Studies right after London in Limbo, and he ended up spending most of his time sitting and chin stroking about creativity and culture in London. By the time Culture Clash happened he had at least enough knowledge about the topic to ask an Amazing First Question and then sit back and chin stroke his way through the rest.

“He talked impassionately about the power and importance of squatting, and what its decline means for the lived urban experience.”

We won’t give you too much information about what went down after that Amazing First Question because the whole conversaton is online and we want to get our YouTube views up. In all seriousness, it is worth the watch. Anna, Tony and Seth are dons. Anna heads up Space Studios - the biggest provider of artist studio space in London and an all-around 100% Certified Blue Tick Verified Artistic Institution; Tony has got years of wildly impressive experience working with local communities and enacting positive change through artistic practice; and Seth, both as part of Resolve and because of his experience working on local authority-led regeneration, is incredibly well placed to speak the realness on all the above. We covered a lot. There was even a bit of disagreement amongst panellists (ooooooooh!) which in today’s Talk Economy is rarer than seeing two Terodactyl’s on a chirpsin’ ting. There was also some great contributions from the audience. One gentleman, whom we later found out to be TRC’s don Capitol K, stood out in particular. He talked impassionately about the power and importance of squatting, and what its decline means for the lived urban experience. Audience participation is always something we enjoy about our events and Capitol K’s contribution is exactly why.