Great turn out last night. One of the best debates so far I think. Certainly heated at times The fact that we were still there when the pub closed…. Thanks to all of you (old and new faces) who managed to get off Facebook for a moment and engage face to face with some really important issues. Jeremy Gilbert was excellent.
Tag: Andrew Branch
Where is the Common Ground? Making Local Activism Work in Southend
3rd May, 2015 at 8pm
Upstairs at the Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea
The General Election on May 7th is occurring against a backdrop of relentless austerity, food poverty, tax evasion and scapegoating of groups without access to the mainstream media that marginalizes them.
Is there an alternative to this politics of despair, and if so, is collective activism the answer? Is Essex man Russell Brand right when he tells us that the system is broken and what we accept as ‘common sense’ has been imposed on us? On one hand, events in Greece and Spain show that collective responses to inequality are working. On the other hand, there is the anti-European, anti-immigration stance of populists like UKIP and Le Front National in France, whose appeal seems to resonate with the mythologized ‘man in the street’.
This pre-election CCT special event explores alternative ways of thinking critically about our everyday political lives and considers the effectiveness of collective activism. We’ll discuss what can be done at the local level to make a difference and what kind of differences ‘we’ want by first thinking about who ‘we’ are – a collective political force or fragmented individual consumers?
We ask you to contemplate the idea of the common ground and critically explore related concepts like neoliberalism, individuality, crowds, publics, multiplicities, collectivity, and of course, democracy.
Introduction by Andrew Branch
Tony D. Sampson (author of Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks): Crowds, Publics and Desire.
Giles Tofield (Director of The Cultural Engine): Finding Common Ground – Southend.
Q&A Chaired by Andrew Branch followed by break for drinks
Special guest speaker Professor Jeremy Gilbert (author of Common Ground: Democracy and Collectivity in the Age of Individualism): The Common Ground
Discussion chaired by Andrew Branch
Dr Tony D Sampson
Reader in Digital Culture and Communications
School of Arts and Digital Industries
Club Critical Theory: https://clubcriticaltheory.wordpress.com/
UKIP were back in force on Canvey Island on Saturday – posters everywhere… black shirts on the high street. Perhaps a good time to recall these words…
“The major enemy, the strategic adversary is fascism. And not only historical fascism, the fascism of Hitler and Mussolini—which was able to mobilize and use the desire of the masses so effectively—but also the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behaviour, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.”
Come to Club Critical Theory on Sunday 3rd May – 8pm start.
Upstairs at the Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea (near Southend Central Station)
Guest speaker Jeremy Gilbert
Also, Tony D Sampson and Giles Tofield (chair Andrew Branch)
Venue: Upstairs at the Railway Hotel, Clifftown Road, Southend On Sea (near to Southend Central Rail Station
Special Guest DJ: Stuart Bowditch
Stuart is mostly inspired by his love of open air, spaces and places. His interest in sound and the natural rhythms and routines of everyday life have shaped the methodology of his work, which revolves around noises and sounds which he finds, records and processes. He loves to travel, near and far, and the recordings he makes become a document, a sound memory, of his time spent in each place. He often works with individuals or groups to record new sets of sounds and over the years has built up a large archive of recordings which he draws upon to make songs, soundtracks to films and art installations. In this way of working he tries to make sense of the world he lives in and his place within it. Simultaneously, the creations and experiences of others end up intrinsically embedded in his work, creating a rich texture of layers, representing his life and those he as encountered along the way.
9-9.20pm: Sounds by Stuart Bowditch
9.20-9.30pm: Introduction to CCT by Giles Tofield (Chair)
Deleuze, Contagion & the New Brighton
Tony D Sampson (UEL)
This talk will engage with the ideas of Gilles Deleuze in order to grasp how urban space, place and time might emerge. Firstly, we need to rethink the idea of Southend as a holistic entity (e.g. Southend as a whole community) and instead encounter the urban space as a multiplicity. The focus therefore needs to shift away from wholes and essential properties to consider local interactions and singularities that have the capacity and tendency to spill over into urban space (for good and bad). The talk will include a collaborative venture with the photographer Iry Hor whose work captures the assemblages of real Southend.
10-10.15pm: short break
Bourdieu, Habit and Social Space
Andrew Branch (UEL)
Morrissey once asked ‘When you want to live, how do you start? Where do you go? Who do you need to know? This talk will answer these political questions by illustrating how Pierre Bourdieu’s work can illuminate our understanding of how habitual behaviour forms, structures our sense of entitlement and frames our occupation of space and place. Using examples familiar to people living in Southend and its adjacent areas, the talk will conclude by exploring how transformation occurs, both at the individual and collective level.
10.45-11.00: short break
11.00-11.30: Discussion We welcome your contributions
11.30-til late: Sounds by Stuart Bowditch
CCT Banner photograph by Simon Fowler
Thrilled to announce that we have the sound recordist, artist, musician Stuart Bowditch lined up for the first Club Critical Theory event on Thursday 17th April.
The event is free and starts at 9pm upstairs at the excellent Railway Hotel!
The discussion (making sense of place: creating a critical space for southend-on-sea) will be chaired by Giles Tofield and features talks on Deleuze, Contagion & the New Brighton (Tony D Sampson, UEL) and Bourdieu, Habit and Social Space
(Andrew Branch, UEL).
Photo by Iry Hor, specially commissioner for CCT
More info on the CCT site
More details of the first club critical theory event. Click on the image to view.
Further details about the talks and music to follow…
UPDATE: See club critical theory blog for more details.