Conflict Group C: Reflection on Interdisciplinary methods and Team Work

1- How did we use interdisciplinary approaches?

For our presentation on gentrification in Dalston and Brixton, we used different interdisciplinary approaches in order to incorporate each member’s field of studies and ideas into the project.  We decided to use Tatjana’s Fanny Honegger’s major (Film studies) as a mean to convey our ideas to the jury. We chose to present our project through the form of a short film integrating pictures, quotes, interviews, lyrics and other resources we used throughout our research. This form of presenting will enable us to save time in order to cover the complex and inclusive topic of gentrification. We also believe a filmed presentation will enable us to present our ideas in an effective and focused manner, therefore gathering the diverse interdisciplinary approaches together in a clear way. The presentation through a film is also a creative approach to the topic that we thought would be entertaining and original. We used photography to picture the areas we cover in our presentation, showing the development of Dalston and Brixton and how those spaces were affected by gentrification by juxtaposing recent photos to ancient ones taken before the gentrification process was put into effect. Through the analysis of historical events including the protests against gentrification in Brixton for example, the research on the historical background of the districts we cover, and interpretations of development and their effects on inhabitants as well as spaces, Charlotte Dean contributed to the interdisciplinary nature of our project through the application of methods used in her major: History. Jake Allister Glasmacher’s field of studies, politics, informed our decision to use a neutral approach to the topic. We used methods and approaches common in today’s politics, including adopting a neutral stance in face of a complex and polemical topic, by approaching people affected by gentrification’s effects while considering their potential political opinions and personal sensitivities. Our questions evidence this neutral stance and respect for the interviewees’ different political sensitivities. We had to put aside our political opinions in order to cover the topic of gentrification in an effective and clear manner. Through the inclusion of artistic resources in the form of Hip-Hop lyrics, we also used Josephine Coustet’s field of studies, English. By analyzing and close-reading extracts of the different Hip-Hop genres common in Dalston and Brixton (Grime and Drill respectively), we attempted to present youth’s reaction to social, economic and political changes at play in their areas, their reaction to the social situation to which they are subjects on a daily basis, and their potential reaction to gentrification. The use of Hip-Hop lyrics and associated research also permitted us to question the importance of the gentrification process in artistic developments and the artists’ social situation. Other interdisciplinary approaches outside our majors were critical for researching our project. We believe sociological methods permitted us to understand the social forces at play behind the gentrification process. Immigration, social classes and demographic research centered on Dalston and Brixton were topics we had to research in order to understand how gentrification affected negatively certain populations, while others profited from it. Communication methods enabled us to devise our questionnaires, chose how to approach interviewees, informed our journalistic research and choice of presentation form.

2- -Opportunities and how we took advantage of them:

-Working as a team with interdisciplinary methods offered us numerous opportunities we availed ourselves of.

-We understood the importance of interdisciplinarity thank to other team member contribution to the project. We involved ourselves in topics that we do not necessarily cover in our major, including politics, history and film studies. We used art in our project and understood its implication in social, economic and political changes. Interdisciplinarity permitted us to approach our topic in a creative manner, integrating multiple resources from music, photography to interviews. Team work required a lot of organization and research, which turned out to be an entertaining experience for all members.

-The topic of gentrification also permitted us to know and study areas of London with more depth. We had to visit the areas we covered and meet their inhabitants, therefore extending our knowledge of the city. Getting into contact with people affected by gentrification also enabled us to become aware of the practical effects of political, social and economic measures. We also learned how to approach complex and polemical topics while considering differing views than ours. Researching the topic of gentrification also gave us awareness of the diverse impacts of immigration in London, and our own roles as potential gentrifiers.

-The research we undertook for the completion of our project entailed meeting with people concerned by gentrification. From artists to inhabitants, the opportunities we derived from meeting with people were tremendous. Josephine Coustet contacted one of her favorite Hip-Hop band, Foreign Beggars, through social media and they accepted to answer questions in a meeting. This meeting would never have been possible outside the context of our presentation and team work. Tatjana Honegger also contacted a member of the Brixton Windmill. Such interviews will be an advantage for our future careers as it transmitted us communication and journalistic skills.

 3- -Challenges and how we coped with them:

– Researching for our presentation and working as a team confronted us with numerous challenges we had to cope with.

-Working in a group in which team members came from a diversity of departments enabled each of us to learn how to cope with dilemmas relating to the integration of disparate ideas and methods in our project. Mingling those interdisciplinary approaches together was difficult to the extent that the link between them was not always blatant to us. Through discussion during our meetings, sharing notes online and meeting outside the scheduled meeting hours, we managed to associate different ideas together in order to harmonize our very disparate researches. We had to brainstorm how to clearly associate those approaches to make an intelligible argument and presentation. Structuring our research came to be a challenge we believe we coped effectively with. The solution of a film presentation would enable us to mingle all the different approaches together by gathering pictures, quotes and music for example. We also managed to avoid challenges common in team work. We found that we did not argue on how we would proceed in our project, and reached agreement easily thank to clear communication. We managed to avoid dissention by dividing tasks according to what interested us the most. One of the biggest challenge related to team work and interdisciplinarity was how to assemble our ideas, and we came to a handy solution that pleased us all: presenting our project through the form of a film.

-Choosing a topic of interest to the different members of the group was also a challenge we had to overcome. Through brainstorming and communication, we reached an agreement. We would cover gentrification, its development and its effects in the street-markets of Dalston and Brixton. However, another challenged awaited us: the outcome of our researches did not clearly match our original topic. Some critical resources we found were scarce to pursue such a topic. We decided to modify our topic in order to pursue our research. Thank to this plan-change, we managed to gather different relevant resources available to us in order to answer our new topic focused on the pertinence of theories and gentrification’s practical effects on individuals and spaces.

-Structuring our ideas was a serious challenge that we had to deal as a group. We decided to structure individually the project as if we were the sole contributor, to afterwards discuss our ideas and reach an agreement through thorough consideration of each other’s findings.

-Time was also a major challenge we had to deal with. Coping with team member’s availabilities, absences and schedules required communication and organization in order to pursue our research according to the strict temporal requirements that constrained our project. We had to be diligent in our work and research in order to advance effectively and not be overwhelmed. To avoid lateness, we decided to meet outside the schedules class hours and discuss extensively the next steps we would take. Communication through email, and social media also permitted us to share our ideas and marshal our progress in due time.

-Due to the nature of our presentation, one of the biggest challenge we had to overcome was getting into contact with people affected by gentrification. The question was how and who to interview? Thank to interdisciplinary approaches like Politics and Communication, we managed to devise questions that were respectful of the interviewee’s potential political opinions. We had to take moderate risks and get ambitious by getting involved personally with inhabitants of the areas. Tatjana Fanny Honegger was involved in risky situation when she was addressed by hostile people in a market place she intended to visit, picture and interview workers.

-Space-saving methods, what we chose to omit in our project, were critical to our progress. We had to decide to omit topics relevant to our broad and complex presentation subject for the sake of space saving, focus and consideration for extremely complex matters we thought extensive research would be required. For example, we chose not to analyze the significance of race and ethnic issues in gentrification. Extensive and scarce demographic statistics associated to gentrification on Dalston and Brixton would be required to incorporate such a theme in the presentation. For lack of time, space and probably skills, we did not integrate this topic in our project.

First Impressions – Photography

Here are some initial impressions of the work a local photographer (Vera Zrubrügg) from Dalston did @Ridley Road market, in collaboration with our TAD project.

She decided to focus on the market sellers and show their everyday lives and behaviors. Furthermore, she took photographs of the unique and rare goods that are being sold at the market and that show its cultural diversity.

Ideas on structure and theories

Here is some research I did into thinking about how we could structure the presentation around the information we have so far. This is a skeleton structure so it doesn’t have every detail of the examples we have, but aims to give a rough idea of how we can structure the presentation. I also consolidated theories from the blog posts and other sources into categories which I hope will make things easier.

Skeleton structure:

  • Answer what is gentrification?
    • Use the theories to describe gentrification and the stage models
    • Gentrification as evolved from Ruth Glass’ original definition. The academic field not focuses on statistics which remove the lived experience (Stacey Sutton) and that we should make a conscious effort not to remove the lived experience.
    • Then say Loretta Lees quote about orderly progression and say that we don’t believe it can be this orderly
    • We say how we believe reality is messier, more emotive and can’t be pushed into a fixed category in a text (Rose, D). They remove the human consequences of gentrification and the effect on communities.
  • Say that we will use the case studies of Dalston and Brixton to reflect on the conflict between the theories and the lived experience. Arguing that the only way to fully comprehend gentrification is to analyze multiple mediums through which it is expressed.
  • Case studies:
    • Talk about origin of gentrification in each place (acknowledge that gentrification is further along in Brixton)
    • The role of artists (they are arguably the original gentrifiers but then sometimes they also have to leave – they can help bring communities back together ‘Our Brixton’ – another expression of anger – analyze the photo of the wind rush family outside Brixton station which Sonya pointed out and say how its a recent piece of art that is showing where Brixton originated from at a time where there is a loss of community)
    • The role of music (expresses anger, reflect on what is happening in their home – Grime – Reggae – Drill)
    • The role of poetry (Linton Kwesi Johnson)
    • Affect on the community of these areas (interviews – price rice, markets now selling food from all over the world – loss of identity – Sonya lived in Brixton her whole life and despite not having to move from gentrification she feels the effects because she now feels isolated due to most of her community leaving the area)
    • Protests and the community fighting back (Reclaim Brixton, protests Loretta Lees discussed – resistance succeeding)
  • Talk about the conflict within the conflict:
    • Whose voice is heard? What is the effect of hearing about gentrification from gentrifiers rather than the gentrified? By using the multi-medium approach we see local people gain voices through art, music and poetry
  • Conclusion:
    • Reflect on the methods we used and why we thought they were most effective
    • Discuss the conflict between theories and lived realities
    • Reflect on role of theories
    • Mention why we did not include race as a focus (gentrification disproportionately displaces and affects black and brown people)
    • Show how the question has made us move between different disciplines (methods) and morphed (live research project)
    • Stacey Sutton powerfully says that gentrification comes down to who we value and how we want to act upon that. I think this is an insightful comment and connects well with Adam Wheatle’s comment about who the markets cater for.
    • Reflect on if gentrification is inevitable
      • Gentrification doesn’t have to be inevitable: revitalisation refers to neighbourhood change and improvement from the bottom up, done by community residents and organisations. This process includes improving houses, attracting businesses and making the neighbourhood safe and clean, but the neighbourhood remains affordable for local people. It can also be addressed through policies that implement rent control, progressive land tax and restrict predatory investment schemes. (Stacey Sutton) – Gentrification, if done right, can be seen as a way for communities and people to come together – Loretta Lees: Refurbishment is cheaper and more environmentally and socially stable than rebuilding – Dan Hancox, “urban change is not like the weather, and gentrification is not organic, inevitable and natural”
      • In 1970s neoclassical economists’ said that gentrification was a ‘natural, inevitable market adjustment process, something to be celebrated as part of an apparent middle-class return to the central city from suburbia’ (Slater) but we think (so does Lees) that today it is not inevitable and is being resisted

Presentation idea that we discussed: Play the film cutting Tatiana received behind us while we talk about Brixton and then as we talk about quotations they pop up on the screen along with additional pictures

Theories gathered from blog notes and other sources:

What is gentrification:

  • Three stages of gentrification (1970s) Loretta Lees, ‘The Birth of Gentrification’
  • Ruth Glass’ original definition: (1960s) Introduction to London – ‘One by one, many of the working-class quarters of London have been invaded by the middle classes—upper and lower … Once this process of ‘gentrification’ starts in a district it goes on rapidly until all or most of the original working-class occupiers are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed (Glass, 1964, p. xviii). – Tom Slater on Ruth Glass: When Ruth first coined ‘gentrification’ she was talking about her ‘concerns about the accelerating rehabilitation of Victorian lodging houses, tenurial transformation from renting to owning, property price increases and the displacement of working-class occupiers by middle-class incomers’

How gentrification has evolved from Glass’ original definition:

  • “Gentrification was initially understood as the rehabilitation of decaying and low-income housing by middle-class outsiders in central cities. In the late 1970s a broader conceptualization of the process began to emerge, and by the early 1980s new scholarship had developed a far broader meaning of gentrification, linking it with processes of spatial, economic and social restructuring.” (Saskia Sassen 1991: 255 in Slater)
  • Tom Slater talking about how the word gentrification has evolved since Glass: today it is ‘a word around which class struggles and urban social movements… could mobilize and gain visibility and political momentum.’ ‘“Gentrification” simply yet very powerfully captures the class inequalities and injustices created by capitalist urban land markets and policies’

Pivotal quotation for arguing that we need the lived experience to fully understand gentrification:

  • Loretta Lees: ‘One of the reasons that stage models of gentrification were developed was to cope with the temporal variations in gentrification that were already apparent in the 1970s. Gentrification stage models were designed to represent gentrification in an orderly, temporal, sequential progression.’ (the birth of gentrification) – We then argue that the experience of gentrification cannot be defined into such an orderly fashion when the lived experience differs among people and communities

Theorists that agree that theories are not enough/remove important lived experience:

  • Stacey Sutton: measuring gentrification academically can remove the lived experience and we should make a conscious effort not to disregard this experience (youtube Ted Talk)
  • Smith and Williams (1986, 3 in Tom Slater): in reality gentrification is “a highly dynamic process, it is not amenable to overly restrictive definitions”
  • Tom Slater: ‘Just as there are valuable theoretical lessons to be learned from critical studies of the formation and constitution of middle-class gentrifiers, so there are from poignant accounts of love and loss in the context of the devastation of displacement’ (‘Gentrification of the City’)
  • D Rose (1984): She criticized stage models for lumping together different processes and effects, she thought of gentrification as a “chaotic concept” instead. “The terms ‘gentrification’ and ‘gentrifiers’… are ‘chaotic conceptions’ which obscure the fact that a multiplicity of processes, rather than a single causal process, produce changes int eh occupation of inner-city neighborhoods, from the lower to higher income residents” (Rose, D, (1984) ‘Rethinking gentrification: Beyond the uneven development of Marxist urban theory’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 1: 47-74)
  • Loretta Lees talking about the effect of language on the actual lived reality of gentrification: Words that have hidden gentrification in them to market class change as a positive process for cities: urban regeneration, urban renaissance, urban redevelopment, mixed communities policy and the creative city. Mixed communities is when council houses are redeveloped and the middle classes move in and lower classes move out, so you don’t actually get mixing you get gentrification and social segregation.

 

Extra meeting

To do list:

Everyone print off their interviews and think about how to structure the presentation and come with ideas on Wednesday.

Tatjana: Write up interview

Josephine: Reflect on methods used and why we decided not to make race a focus

Charlotte: Sort out the theories into which ones support/oppose our thoughts

Jake: Think about structure

W9: Assembling our ideas

Theories vs. reality: then the conflict within the reality 

Gentrification has evolved into an academic source that is removed from Ruth Glass’ original definition of a class struggle. Using statistics and charts in contemporary theories of gentrification removes the lived experience. Then we argue that this multi-medium approach shows the reality and lived experience. The language of theory vs the language of the lived experience.

Think about artists, are they part of the solution or the problem. Whose voice is heard, the experience of gentrification from the gentrifier and the gentrified – artists giving local people voices (same with Grime). Artists part of gentrification, but they are more willing to adapt.

When did gentrification start in Dalston and Brixton. acknowledge that Brixton is further along than Dalston but is a more positive example. Sites: Dalston Studios and Pop Brixton and the way they are both related to the market.

‘Everything must go’ lyrics links to Alex Wheatle’s thought that people can’t live in the area they grew up in.

Marking criteria: “creatively” important in the way we present it, what we say, what we display. Each members contribution is “discernible and complementary.” “Methodologies,” need to reflect on the methods we used and why we used these approaches.

Need to do:
Look at academia on art and gentrification.
Need to set up our theories. Look at the Ted Talks on gentrification, how do these speakers present their theories.
Think about race.
Theories conflict with lived reality. Theory is about class. Whereas, what we have in London is a city built around multi-cultural identity and gentrification is directly affected that.
By next Wednesday have a concrete plan of the theories and questions to ask George.

Meet: 11am-1pm Monday 18th and 2-4pm on Saturday 23rd.

Conflict Group C: Theories on Gentrification (Summarized)

Imagined Theories vs Felt Realities in the Gentrification process of Dalston and Brixton:

1- Theories on Gentrification:

‘One of the reasons that stage models of gentrification were developed was to cope with the temporal variations in gentrification that were already apparent in the 1970s. Gentrification stage models were designed to represent gentrification in an orderly, temporal, sequential progression.’ (Loretta Lee, the birth of gentrification)

‘Gentrification in a nutshell: real pain of gentrification resides – the refurbishment that become de facto mass purging of poor residents, the choking off of the supply of social housing since the 1980’sm the granting of planning permission to new luxury blocks, the cynical redefining of ‘affordable housing’ to mean anything up to 80% of market rate (used to be 50%), developers buying their way out of their legal requirements to build affordable housing by paying cash to struggling councils, the eviction of poor families, most often people of colour or people with less fluent English’ (Dan Hancox, Inner City Pressure: The Story of Grime (p. 234))

-Ruth Glass:

-Definition:

– ‘Glass identified gentrification as a complex urban process that included the rehabilitation of old housing stock, tenurial transformation from renting to owning, property price increases, and the displacement of working-class residents by the incoming middle classes.’ (Loretta Lee, the birth of gentrification)

 – ‘the process by which working class residential neighbourhoods are rehabilitated by middle class homebuyers, landlords and professional developers’

 -Redevelopment ≠ Gentrification: ‘Redevelopment involves not rehabilitation of old structures but the construction of new buildings on previously developed land.’

-Hamnett and Randolph’s (1986) ‘value gap thesis’:

-emphasizes the political and institutional context shaping the actions of developers, landlords, buyers, and renters in central London at this time. It was the ‘value gap’ (the relationship between a building’s tenanted investment value and its vacant possession value, the former being a measure of the rented building’s annual rental income, and the latter a measure of the property’s future sale price when it is converted into owner-occupation—the landlord sells off the building when the gap widened sufficiently) and its attendant tenurial transformation that was the main producer – (Loretta Lee, The birth of Gentrification)

-‘the private landlords, who were to profit from the flat break-up in central London after 1966, when private rented flats were sold into owner occupation and gentrification’

-Rachmanism, and landlords taking advantages of lower classes.

-Stacey Sutton:

– ‘She says that gentrification is a process by which higher income/status people relocate/invest in low income urban neighbourhoods (which have typically been disinvested in by the public and private sector) typically to make the most of low property values, but by doing so they typically inflate property values, displace low income people and alter the culture and character of the neighbourhood.’ (Jake Glasmacher)

 -Tom Slater – Gentrification of the City  (From Jake Glasmacher’s notes)

-Smith and William debate over gentrification

-Production Perspective :  ‘emphasises the role of capital and its institutional agents in creating gentrifiable spaces.’ VS Consumption Perspective : ‘a consequence of the uneven investment of capital in certain land uses, its devaluation through use and systematic disinvestment, and the opportunities for profitable reinvestment created by these capital flows

-The new middle class: ‘Gentrifiers view living in the central city as “a mark of distinction in the constitution of an identity separate from the constellation of place and identity shaped by the suburbs – Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of cultural Habitus.

-The Costs of Gentrification: Displacement

(+ Cultural consequences, Artists are affected, Community sense impacted, Social Enclaves built…)

 -Loretta Lees:  – The Birth of Gentrification

-Definition:

-Classical gentrification (original term used by Ruth Glass): ‘disinvested inner-city neighborhoods are upgraded by pioneer gentrifiers and the indigenous residents are displaced. Working-class housing becomes middle-class housing.’

-When did gentrification start in London?

-Post-War reconstruction (Brutalism, Blocks, Internalization of the City of London…)

Ex: Abercrombie Greater London Plan (1944) / New Town Development Act (1952)

-The 1969 Housing Act (‘The act provided local authorities with the power to      allocate discretionary improvement grants.’ / ‘As the grants had to be met pound for pound by the improver, they automatically favored the more well-off improver or developer and aided the gentrification process’

-The theory of the Gentrification process as following stages:

-Early Stage Model (1970-80’s) – ‘explain the process and predict the future course of gentrification mirrored Glass’s definition of classical gentrification’

-Stage 1: Group of people move in and renovate properties for own use.

No displacement yet, vacant housing taken or part of market.

Artists or people having skills to undertake renovation

Small areas concerned

-Stage 2: More people move in and fix properties for own use.

Capital for investors scarce, only a few may renovate for resale.

Promotional activities, some displacement, media interest in area,   neighborhood’s name may change, Renovation spreads…

-Stage 3: Focus of media on area – Urban renewal and developpers move in

Individual investors may renovate for own use still.

Prices escalates, physical improvement more visible

Displacement continues and may increase

Middle-class residents freshly arrived: housing as investment and place to live

Demand for public resources and promotion of area

Tension between local and gentry emerge

Police activity – reduce crime

Bank interest: reinvestment and loans to mid-class

 

-Stage 4: Mid-class moving in, Business and managerial middle-class

Measures to reinforce the private investment taking place (public controls…)

Buildings appear on market (speculation)

Commercial activities emerge

Price rise àDisplacement intensified, concerning renter and owners

New neighborhoods concerned to supply demand of mid-class

 

-Gale (1979)

-‘formulated a classic gentrification model that underlined class and status distinctions between old and new residents in a gentrifying neighborhood. Gale’s model of classical gentrification emphasized population change in terms of the displacement of former working-class residents.’ (Loretta Lee, The birth of gentrification)

-The Gentrifier Type :

-Late twenties or thirties adults, childless, numbering 1 or 2 by household

-Educated, professional or managerial

-The Gentrifier Type by Loretta Lee:

‘The pioneer gentrifier works in the cultural professions, is risk oblivious, wants to pursue a nonconformist lifestyle, wants a socially mixed environment, and rehabilitates his or her property using sweat equity. Then more risk-conscious mainstream professionals move in, some with young families. Realtors and developers start to show an interest, and as property prices increase the original residents might be pushed out. Over time, older and more affluent and conservative households move in, attracted to what is now a safe investment. Eventually, gentrification is seen to stabilize at an endpoint of mature gentrification.’

 -Rose (1984)

-One of the first to question the conceptualization of gentrification and its process:

-She ‘criticized stage models for lumping together different processes and effects; she preferred to see gentrification as a ‘chaotic concept’ in which different actors, housing tenures, motives, and allegiances coexisted. For Rose, ‘the terms “gentrification” and “gentrifiers” … are “chaotic conceptions” which obscure the fact that a multiplicity of processes, rather than a single causal process, produce changes in the occupation of inner-city neighbourhoods from the lower to higher income residents’  (Loretta Lee, The birth of gentrification) 

-Dan Hancox – Inner City Pressure: The Story of Grime (London: William Collins, 2018)

-Is Gentrification inevitable?

-‘Urban change is not like the weather, and gentrification is not organic, inevitable and natural.’

-When did Gentrification start? Who planned it?

-2000’s and New Labour government’s (Ken Livingstone elected Mayor, Tony Blair’s government): urban regeneration plans hatched to ‘make the inner city the engine of bourgeois modernity, cosmopolitan culture and aspiration – the New Labour project’

-The LDDC ‘was the flagship of the hyper-gentrification that would follow across British cities, legitimizing New Labour’s urban renaissance, of which renovating and demolishing of council estates was also a vital part’

-1991 One Canda Square completed – ‘A bankers’ skyscrapers that watched over the grime kids’

-New Labour Urban Task Force (1998)– ‘promote a lasting urban renaissance to stem urban decline’

-Richard Rogers appointed architect – 1999 report Towards an Urban Renaissance

-The New Deal (1998) – Aiming to reduce unemployment, which actually ‘made it much harder for artists to live on the dole while honing and improving their craft’

-What aim the gentrification targeted?

-Gentrification – ‘would create new neighbourhoods with a mix of tenures and incomes, including opening up council housing to more of the population’

-Through what means was it implemented?

-Faster Compulsory Purchase Orders – to get people out of the blocks they wanted to demolish.

-Plan to use estate renewal using private finance initiative

-The consequences of Gentrification:

-Tensions, Protests, Displacements, Rise in prices…

-‘urban regeneration is almost always a zero-sum game: for some people to ‘come back’ to the inner city, others have to leave’

-Social enclaves: ‘gated communities had proliferated in east London around the turn of the millennium, especially in developments aimed at the wealthy new arrivals working in the City of London or Canary Wharf’ – Lack of integration and interaction with local communities

-Cultural impacts: ‘Artwash on iconic blocks by council, Legendary record shops replaced with boutique coffee shops, Blocks replaced by luxury flats…’

-Cut in funding: no youth clubs, activities…

-Wiley: ‘the market culture of the Roman Road had weakened considerably as a community hub. That market culture was massive. The difference today is people go to flipping Westfield or Bluewater’

-‘Working-class people were being decanted from the estates of inner London in the name of urban renaissance’

– ‘[ …] the urban renaissance is also making life harder for those who remain, in the inner city’s increasingly isolated social-housing blocks

– ‘With this process – not to mention Tory cuts to benefits, youth services and the removal of EMA – has come a further narrowing of opportunities and horizons for young people from poor backgrounds, and a further intensification of postcode wars, youth violence and territorialism’

-The areas concerned : neighborhood nationalism, consequences and causes

-Sociologist Les Back – ‘neighbourhood nationalism: a positive identification with the local area and the people in it, one that often transcended racial divisions, sharing slang and culture, to create a sense of civic harmony, even while racism and hostility remained commonplace in the city and the nation at large– the idea that ‘if you’re local, you’re all right’.

-‘The consequence of neighborhood nationalism, of outward pride and inward claustrophobia, was that anything beyond the boundaries of the neighborhood felt at best an alien landscape, and at worst like enemy territory’

-Post-code wars

-Lack of money to travel, confined in an area – London public transport most expensive in world

-‘While capital must be allowed to move around the world unhindered by the state, the same freedom does not apply to poor people in the west’s ‘global cities’’

Conflict Group C: lyrics about gentrification

1- Opinions about Gentrification

-Potent Whisper – Brixton First

They’re all moving in to move us out, they wanna loot the town/ We’re taking Brixton first! / We built this town we ain’t moving out 

2-Description of Areas: 

The Illersapiens – Brixton(2009)

Brixton is the word that I wanna promote /  We are many different colors, and creeds, religion and race /

-Lorna Gee – Brixton Rock (1985)

-Pride about Brixton

-Eddy Grant – Electric Avenue (1982)

Down in the street there is violence / And a lots of work to be done

-Foreign Beggars – Frosted Perspeks

Who’s it gonna be? You or me? Fuck authority

Come back home to find nothing but my peeps in vain/ Feels different even though I know the streets the same / It’s time for change

-Professor Green – Jungle

Ain’t nothing nice around here / Trouble’s what you find around here /Welcome to Hackney 

Foreign Beggars – Hold On

Hold on tight to what you own

3-About consequences of Gentrification:

-Foreign Beggars – 6 Million stories

High-rise flats for the rich to hide in / Safe way above our concrete plots, the real peak

– Dizzie Rascal – ‘Slow your Roll’

–‘The developpers rocked up… and the hood got chopped and the natives cropped and the ends got boxed up, then the price got knocked up / Foreign investment raising the stock up, so the rent got propped up, and it kept getting topped up / so the heart got ripped out and rinsed out: some got shipped out, got kicked out… Power, Money, and big clout’s what it’s about’

-Skepta – Man

Came a long way from when whites never used to mix with blacks / Now all my white niggas and my black mates, we got the game on smash

-Dizzee Rascal – Sittin’ Here

 It’s the same old story, friends slowly driftin’ from the ends

– Dizzie Rascal – ‘Everything must Go’ 

East London Youth… ‘swept off of their feet before them condos are complete’

-Kano – T-Shirt weather in the Manor

Then you try change your postcode to W10

-Harlem Spartan – Splash and Cash

Ride over there to dem pretty new blocks

WEEK 8 – Everything is coming together

This week we decided to bring all our research together and discuss it in relation to our up-coming presentation. As a result, we agreed upon the fact that theories alone are not enough to fully portray the weight the gentrification process puts on the affected people. However, we do want to discuss/link our research with theories on gentrification and show their inefficiency/lack of emotion. But then the question remains open: are theories ever efficient enough?

Linking our research on theories of gentrification:

Theories: Tom Slater, Loretta Lee, Ruth Glass vs. Contemporary Artists: Foreign Beggars, Johann Arens and Vera Zurbrügg

  • Do the theories of gentrification accurately represent gentrification in Brixton?
  • Are theories enough? (We argue that they don’t show the conflict within the communities/lived space and that examples of lived experience are more important)
  • Gentrification through the eyes of artists: multi-disciplinary approach: Art, Photography, Music, Videography (We argue that theories are too abstract and that these approaches show the weight of gentrification

To Do List: (last week dedicated to fieldwork/conducting interviews)

  • Contact Concrete Soldiers about their Film “Time to Say Goodbye” on Ridley Road
  • Planning interview with Brixton Windmill/Black Cultural Archives
  • Complete/formulate the interview answers
  • Be prepared to discuss all our research next week

Research on gentrification in Brixton

Alex Wheatle made an interesting statement that if you are on minimum wage and looking for somewhere to buy your lunch in Brixton most places in the market are now more expensive than they used to be, which asks the question of who are these shops/stalls really catering for now? There are more coffee shops arriving and retail shops shutting down in the market. One market owner says that they used to be really busy on the weekend and now they are not, because now people are coming to the market primarily for food. Before you could only buy West Indian food produce at Brixton market, but now you can buy food produce from all over the world. Three or four years ago the market was empty and deserted, but now its full. Wheatle says that when he was 17/18 he would never have thought it imaginable that such a variety of people would be able to enjoy Brixton, because it used to be feared. Although Wheatle has mixed feelings about the gentrification of where he grew up he says, “what I do miss is that constant pounding of reggae.”

Urban planning scholar Stacey Sutton gives a comprehensive definition of gentrification in this Ted Talk on America. She says that gentrification is a process by which higher income/status people relocate/invest in low income urban neighbourhoods (which have typically been disinvested in by the public and private sector) typically to make the most of low property values, but by doing so they typically inflate property values, displace low income people and alter the culture and character of the neighbourhood. The areas that are being gentrified are disproportionately occupied by black and brown people thus black and brown people are disproportionately being displaces and typically by the influx of white people (how race comes into it).
Sutton offers an example of how preventative strategies can ameliorate gentrification. I thought that at the end of our presentation we could talk about how gentrification is not inevitable. Revitalisation refers to neighbourhood change and improvement from the bottom up, done by community residents and organisations. This process includes improving houses, attracting businesses and making the neighbourhood safe and clean, but the neighbourhood remains affordable for local people. It can also be addressed through policies that implement rent control, progressive land tax and restrict predatory investment schemes.
Gentrification is for the good of the city, but at the cost of others. Sutton also talks about gentrification being a social problem.
When we talk about gentrification in our presentation I think it would be beneficial to reflect on what Sutton says about how measuring it academically can remove the lived experience and we should make a conscious effort not to disgard this experience.
Sutton powerfully says that gentrification comes down to who we value and how we want to act upon that. I think this is an insightful comment and connects well with Adam Wheatle’s comment about who the markets cater for.


Tom Slater calls gentrification the spatial expression of economic inequality. The way that inequality plays out in our neighbourhoods.

It is important that places don’t lose their identity through improvements. It is not necessarily a bad thing that there are more coffee shops in Brixton and that it is now a more welcoming place, but it is important that the money goes back into the community so that the community can continue to thrive and not lose its identity. Gentrification, if done right, can be seen as a way for communities and people to come together. I believe Pop Brixton is an example of positive gentrification and the Brixton Pound as an important method of keeping the community together (hopefully we will get an interview with them).


An example of conflict between the council/gentrification and the community of Brixton is the 2015 anti-gentrification protest: Reclaim Brixton
The protest was about the rising value of property which is difficult for people whose incomes are too high to entitle them to social housing but too low to buy or rent privately.
The protest took place on Windrush Square, an important historical location in Brixton, and was characterised by local people reclaiming their home. There was an overwhelming feeling that the people who made Brixton well known and popular (the roots of its history, culture and diversity) were being pushed out due to gentrification and a new interest in Brixton by corporate chains.
Network Rail was evicting people from their arches to refurbish them, which scared local traders. ‘Save Brixton Arches’ was part of the protest and was opposed to network rails termination of leases ‘enabling a 300% rent increase; forcing small family business’ from their premises and essentially ending their livelihoods.’ Initially network rail claimed that 75% of tenants would return to their arches after refurbishment, but it then changed to 50% and in fact there were 39 tenants and only 9 are returning. (http://www.brixtonbuzz.com/2018/04/save-brixton-arches-final-statement-released-as-the-remaining-traders-leave-on-saturday-7th-apr/)

Rapper Akala talking about gentrification in London, particularly Notting Hill, has interesting comparisons to Brixton. He says, no one asks James Joyce to stop being Irish when you read him so that you can enjoy it, you want him to retain his authenticity for you to enjoy it, but some people would like to enjoy African-Caribbean culture just without African Caribbean people.
He makes an interesting observation that you view of change within London depends on which part of the class/social ladder you fall. For example if you live in Kensington the it is easy to say oh change it just change but if you live in a council estate in Hackney and your parents work two jobs then you will be resistant to change, because your position on the social ladder is insecure, you don’t have the privilege to ignore the situation.
After listening to Akala I believe we should add this element into our presentation. We should reflect on how it is predominantly people of the lower classes who are affected and then the conflict this ensues, for example in protests.


The riot against the cereal cafe in Shoreditch is another example of the community fighting back. The anti-gentrification group called the fuck parade launched an attack against the cereal cafe, because they felt it represented a more serious problem around London. The problem of what these types of cafes are doing to local communities, working class communities being forced to move. The average price for a bowl of cereal in the cereal killer cafe is £4.40, which is why people question is locals can afford it.
“We don’t want luxury flats that no one can afford, we want genuinely affordable housing we want community” – The Fuck Parade – I think this quote is important in thinking about what can be done to combat gentrification.


In 2015 members of anti-gentrification community campaign ‘Our Brixton’ delivered free arts workshops at Cressingham Gardens Estate in Brixton. The estate faced threats of demolition from Lambeth Council, which meant that hundreds of residents faced displacement and homelessness. The art workshops entitled ‘The Art of Change’ included Theatre, Rap, Singing, Graffiti and Beatboxing workshops and aimed to provide young people in the area the opportunity to discuss, understand and comes to terms with the changes they are seeing around them, in their community and at home. I think this is an interesting example of conflict, because it shows that are the essence of this is conflict, but all people really want is the retain community.

Loretta Lees believes that council houses are the last barriers to gentrification in inner London and once they are all gone gentrification will have completely succeeded.
White-collar-middle-class consumption habits expand round London and push out everything else, which creates a cultural and economic barrier between rich and poor.
Lees talks about gentrification in Brixton, saying that it is a front line barrier against gentrification. For example in 2013 people were evicted from Mansion Box on Rush Groff road where they’d been squatting for years and people came out onto the streets to resist the process.
Words that have hidden gentrification in them to market class change as a positive process for cities: urban regeneration, urban renaissance, urban redevelopment, mixed communities policy and the creative city. Mixed communities is when council houses are redeveloped and the middle classes move in and lower classes move out, so you don’t actually get mixing you get gentrification and social segregation.
There has been an increase in recognition and protest against gentrification.
Refurbishment is cheaper and more environmentally and socially stable than rebuilding.
Another example is Cressingham Gardens in Tulse Hill where the council told them that they are going to be demolished and regenerated by a private company who will cash in on the views over Brockwell Park. There is a ballot that will take place for Cressingham Gardens for residents to have a say as to whether their building should be knocked down or just refurbished. The first ballot of it’s kind and it soon to take place. (https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/will-ballots-for-londons-estates-help-rebuild-trust-in-regeneration/10034009.article)


‘Social cleansing’ is a word I think we should think about in the next session.

Conflict Group C: Grime and Gentrification in the Inner City

Dan Hancox – Inner City Pressure: The Story of Grime (London: William Collins, 2018)

–> My notes are focused on gentrification and its relationship to grime as a reflection of the artists’s condition of living and changes they experience in their areas.

*Content*:

Chap 1:  The City and the City – (covers gentrification and its history)

Chapter 2: In The Roots – (Covers grime and East London history)

Chapter 3: The New Ice Age – (Grime background and sense of community)

Chapter 7: Neighbourhood Nationalism (p. 149) – (Gentrification and neighborhood pride)

Chapter 11 – Gentrification and the Manor remade (p. 231) –(Gentrification and consequences)

Epilogue: Back Your City (Conclusion and artists situation)

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X XX X X X X X X X X X XX

Chap 1:  The City and the City 

P10

August 2010 – widespread rioting in Hackney – Broadway Market

-James Meek – ‘It is as if the council-owned tower blocks and estates behind, around and in-between the gentrified patches, where less well-off and poor people live, belong to some other dimension’ / ‘Loving the cultural diversity of London as a spectator-inhabitant is not the same as mingling with it.The yuppies don’t go to the white working-class pubs, and the white-working class don’t go the the yuppies pubs’

11

May 2000 – Ken Livingstone elected Mayor ! – resigned from L party, and ran independent against Steve Norris (conservatist) and Frank Dobson.

New L government ‘were hatching grand plans to drastically smarten up the inner city forever’ 

12

Late 2010’s – cranes, luxury flats dev, hipster cafes…

‘Urban change is not like the weather, and gentrification is not organic, inevitable and natural. The new millennium began with grime’s inner city on one side, and an entirely different, largely new kind of inner city growing rapidly to take its place: expensive, monocultural, private, surveilled and planned from the very top by Tony Blair’s government’

-Inner London as richest in EU – but most deprived council estates in country !

‘Long-standing economic and social divisions were intensifying, as the changing winds of late capitalism induced the middle classes to begin moving back from suburbs and the home counties’

-Government ‘ wanted to make the inner city the engine of bourgeois modernity, cosmopolitan culture and aspiration – the New Labour project’

Conservative government – social pbs soared 

– highest pregnancy rate teenage (mid 90’s)

-Highest number of children in unemployed household

-Child poverty trebled /b/ 1979 and 1995

-Drug addicts quadruple / homeless people number soared

Since deregulation of the City in the late 1980’s, London’s role as primary economic engine magnified ! ‘But the divisions were greater too: Londoners had a higher unemployment rate than the national average and a much higher proportion of children growing up in households with no income: 36% of children in inner London lived in workless homes in 1999 – 17% nationally’

13

East London areas associated with Grime: 

-Hackney

-Tower Hamlets

-Newham 

àRanked from 1-3 on the Indices of Multiple Deprivation à‘Poverty podium’

àIn 1981, at the peak of the social-housing boom, there were over 75 000 council homes in London, housing nearly 31% of the capital’s population. It is no coincidence that they were heavily concentrated in exactly the boroughs where grim and Uk rap would later thrive: 42% of London’s social housing was in Inner East London: The boroughs of Hackney, Lambeth,Tower Hamlets, Islington, Haringey, Southwark…

15

-East London’s past weighed down with poverty and with heavy industry

-Arrival point for immigrants for centuries, where many of them made their homes in capital

-Even after de-industrialization, ‘east london remained associated with grime, dirt, grit, and debris’

-Obvious connection /b/ name of genre and locality

-‘Grime has featured a whole range of lyrical tropes in which dirt is lionized: tunes are praied as mucky – mucktion as a noun – dutty (dirty); Shystie even proclaimed one of her tunes was ‘muddy’.

-A tribute to the sonic bottom-end, a testament to the music’s geographical origins’

16

-‘Regeneration and grime are oppositional forces in the urban arena’

-Regeneration understood as a response to grit, grime, disorder.. 

-Regeneration- ‘make the city look like a kid’s play centre – and entice the middle classes to come and live in it’

17

-‘The word grime seemed to undercut a basic need for respect’ 

-‘Why would you be proud of being dirty?”

-Dizzie Racal named label ‘Dirty Stank’

18

DJ Trend – The music being made by these young people was a reflection of ‘hat you see when you wake up in the morning […]. A lot of grime in the areas […]’

19


-One Canada Square completed in 1991

-home of the newer much more dangerous unregulated financial speculation instrumental in the global financial crisis of 2008

-‘The Big Bang of urban regeneration’

-‘A bankers’ skyscrapers that watched over the grime kids’

-The LDDDC ‘was the flagship of the hyper-gentrification that would follow across British cities, legitimizing New Labour’s urban renaissance, of which renovating and demolishing of council estates was also a vital part’

-The ‘second City’ ‘was never designed to have a relationship with its neighbours’

20

-The LDDC ignored locals demands (protests in the 80’s and 90’s)

-An icon for youngest generation – Canary Wharf (chosen by Dizzie as favorite bldg.)

26

1997 – Tony Blair ‘there will be no forgotten people in the Britain I want to build’

New Labour Urban Task Force – ‘promote a lasting urban renaissance to stem urban decline’

27 

-and appointed Richard Rogers as architect – 1999 report – Towards an Urban Renaissance

-Gentrification plan: ‘would create new neighbourhoods with a mix of tenures and incomes, including opening up council housing to more of the population’

-Faster Compulsory Purchase Orders – to get people out of the blocks they wanted to demolish.

-‘The strategy was framed around the goal of arresting and reversing middle-class flight to the suburbs: encouraging people to remain in, and move back into, our major towns and cities’ would be central to the L plan – 2000 report’

-Plan to use estate renewal using private finance initiative

-David Blunkett (2001 – Home secretary) ‘government could never do it all’

-CONTESTED ! Labour’s urban renaissance strategy as ‘gentrifiers’ charter’

-Loretta Lee contested the strategy as ‘the cappuccino cave-in’

28

-Local politicians talks about gentrification – reccurence of terms like ‘balanced’ or ‘mixed’

-Logic that neighbours influence their neighbours – bringing mid-class to poorer areas will benefit their neighbours? 

-‘urban regeneration is almost always a zero-sum game: for some people to ‘come back’ to the inner city, others have to leave’

Leading property developer – fighting against ‘social enclaves’

‘It’s not gentrification, it’s just becoming a more balanced community’

30

-The New Deal made it much harder for artists to live on the dole while honing and improving their craft

-Grime kids celebrate their independent, DIY spirit […] they did so with the help of youth clubs, school teachers, and a collective, communitarian spirit that was being pummeled y a government determined to dismantle it, in the name of remaking the inner city’.

Chapter 2: In The Roots

P33

‘Grime emerged from a spider’s web of intergenerational influences, schoolmates, neighbours, friends, family and people who knew people – from school, from the estate, from the local area’

‘Grime is black music’ – although not always made by black people ofc

‘The generation of Caribbean migrants who began arriving in Britain after the Empire Windrush docked in the Thames in 1948 tended to settle in Notting Hill in the west, and Brixton in the south’.

-But depopulation in east (due to numerous factors from slum clearance to post war damages) – housing became cheap, therefore attracting immigrants settling in London.

34

‘Grime’s lineage is suffused with this sense of kinship’

Kano Made in The Manor(2016) -Multigenerational and diverse community depiction

35

‘In part of infer London with more substantial black communities, grime’s originators were bound through pre-internet social networks formed by geography and background, by a sense of being marginalized by poverty or racism’

36

‘Reggae suffused the general atmosphere that the grime generation grew up in, tracing direct ancestral links from Britain’s pre-acid house reggae culture, some of it imported from Caribbean, some of it created by black Britons.’

‘[…] Grime echoes its Jamaican reggae heritage in its structure, in its tropes, in its slang, in the way it’s performed and stylistically: particularly harking back to the fast chat reggae style of the likes of Smiley Culture […]’

‘Grime is a direct product of Caribbean sound-system culture’

37

‘There’s a unique and productive cultural tension at the heart of grime that comes directly from its inner-London geography, of working-class cultures from African and Caribbean diasporas intermingling with working-class London slang and culture […]’

Duality referred as ‘Cockney’ (east London slang) and ‘Yardie’ (slang from Jamaica)

Chapter 3: The New Ice Age

58

‘There is a reason all those hood videos and freestyles show the MCs with their crewand their mates gathered around them, whooping and popping gunfingers: because that’s how the bars are written, refined, practiced and improved to begin with: it’ not so much a gathering performance, to camera, as an –  albeit slightly exaggerated –mirror on the day-today reality of where the music comes from’

‘The story of grime in east London in particular is a dense family tree of friendships that initially preceded music […]’

60

Millenium – garage decline, grime rise !

61

‘’While on one side of the A13, Canary Wharf’s tenant enriched themselves to dizzying new heights, the sounds emanating from the tower blocks barely a mile away declaimed through the airwaves that there was more than one east London’

63

First Grime music ? Wiley ‘Eskimo’ or ‘Pulse X’

67

‘ […] The significant break in the tradition of rave-based British MC culture was the grime generation’s turn away from the functional role of (party or radio) host towards storytelling’

2002-3 – the taxonomy of what would become ‘grime’ was greatly contested 

69

Grime sounds like its environment 

70

Newest of bass sound – dark bass – differentiate grime from garage

Chapter 7: Neighbourhood Nationalism (p. 149)

151

-Wider city expensiveness – manor important for locals

-‘Grime’s strength was always in its intense localism, more than its expression of universal truths: crews from different London neighbourhoods described their ends with glowing pride, in parts because they continued to be excluded from grander national or civic identities’

-Sociologist Les Back – neighbourhood nationalism: a positive identification with the local area and the people in it, one that often transcended racial divisions, sharing slang and culture, to create a sense of civi harmony, even while racism and hostility remained commonplace in the city and the nation at large– the idea that ‘if you’re local, you’re all right’.

152

‘Grime makes a huge priority of neighborhood pride’ 

Dot Rotten – This is the beginning

153

‘microscopically local’

Neighborhood nationalism in grime – ‘a response to urban claustrophobia, and a reflection to the need to declare a positive identity: to stand up and be counted as a representative of your area’

156

‘The consequence of neighborhood nationalism, of outward pride and inward claustrophobia, was that anything beyond the boundaries of the neighborhood felt at best an alien landscape, and at worst like enemy territory’

157 

[…] the negative side of the convivial neighborhood nationalism, became increasingly hyped by the media as ‘postcode wars’ during the 2000’s.

158

Relationship tenuous with gang violence and music

BUT LESS TODAY – drill music – where performative lyrics about riding the ‘opp blocks’ to attack or humiliate opponents seem to correspond more and more with reality – gang related videos…

159

Without money to travel, restriction to a local territory – watched from all sides, – paranoia

160

The creation of grime was not just a collective act of identity formation, but the creation of a space – one positioned in between dominant American pop culture, the alienation and hopelessness of British society […] and inherited second and third generation immigrant cultures that felt less relevant to young lives of those touching the mic

162 

Idea that London higher classes share more with higher classes in other places of the world than with their poor neighbors living down the road

Chapter 11 – Gentrification and the Manor remade (p. 231)

231

2012 – Jubilee and Olympic Games in London

-anti-austerity demonstration

232

‘[…] the commons to generate profit for its wealthy aristocratic elite, neoliberal capitalism requires putting up walls in our cities, policing and restricting public spaces, and creating enclaves where access is dictated only by wealth and power: including gated communities, securitized blocks of luxury flats, private roads, and shopping malls instead of street markets’

‘While capital must be allowed to move around the world unhindered by the state, the same freedom does not apply to poor people in the west’s ‘global cities’’

233

Bow quarter building – historic – 1888 match girl’s strikes – harbinger of gentrification – transformed into a private residential complex

à‘These gated communities had proliferated in east London around the turn of the millennium, especially in developments aimed at the wealthy new arrivals working in the City of London or Canary Wharf’

‘It was exactly the kind of walling that keeps richer residents from having to interact with the poor locals’ 

The landscape that forged grime was disappearing from the map

Artwash on iconic blocks by council

Legendary record shops replaced with boutique coffee shops

Blocks replaced by luxury flats

Troy Miller: ‘Obviously, gentrification is a problem: there’s hardly anything for the younger ones to do, there’s no youth clubs anymore.’

234

Wiley: ‘the market culture of the Roman Road had weakened considerably as a community hub. That market culture was massive. The difference today is people go to flipping Westfield or Bluewater’ 

Gentrification in a nutshell: real pain of gentrification resides – the refurbishment that become de facto mass purging of poor residents, the choking off of the supply of social housing since the 1980’sm the granting of planning permission to new luxury blocks, the cynical redefining of ‘affordable housing’ to mean anything up to 80% of market rate (used to be 50%), developers buying their way out of their legal requirements to build affordable housing by paying cash to struggling councils, the eviction of poor families, most often people of colour or people with less fluent English’

238

‘Working-class people were being decanted from the estates of inner London in the name of urban renaissance’

241

2012 official slogan: Inspire a Generation

242 

2009-20012 – the earnings gap was greater than it had been – and Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney and Barking and Dagenham retained some of the highest levels of child poverty in the entire country 

Epilogue: Back Your City

295

Urban Renaissance led by Labour government transformed city 

-It is a city where working class mobility is restrained by the most expensive public transport in the world

297

How are the city changing and for whose benefit? Important question.

àInflux of foreign investment into London property market – financial speculation: owners expect price to rise – prices far beyond reach for majority of Londoners

Consequence: exodus of working class people from London to country-side or periphery

BUT likely that they will stay, living further away from their job in centre, and paying more for transport àeffect of mental health, social lives…

299

Dizzie Rascal – ‘Everything must Go’ – East London youth ‘swept off of their feet before them condos are complete’

                        -‘Slow your Roll’ –‘The developpers rocked up… amd the hood got chopped and the natives cropped and the ends got boxed up, then the price got knocked up / Foreign investment raising the stock up, so the rent got propped up, and it kept getting topped up / so the heart got ripped out and rinsed out: some got shipped out, got kicked out… Power, Money, and big clout’s what it’s about’ 

304

‘While the turbo-gentrification of inner London since grime’s inception has pushed poor people further and further out, as their estates are methodically demolished or sold off, and rents soar to prohibitibe new heights, the urban renaissance is also making life harder for those who remain, in the inner city’s increasingly isolated social-housing blocks.’ 

‘With this process – not to mention Tory cuts to benefits, youth services and the removal of EMA – has come a further narrowing of opportunities and horizons for young people from poor backgrounds, and a further intensification of postcode wars, youth violence and territorialism’

Drill rise in south London council estates – if grime mentioned violence bearing relationship to the MC’s way of life – drill talks about nothing else: track centres on a world of postcode wars, drug dealing and violent crime.

Harlem Spartans – ‘Kent Nizzy’ and ‘Kennington where it started’

-neighborhood anthems, drill’s intensification of the hyper-localism and claustrophobia of grime

Youth under siege from poverty, and youth violence, inequality and institutional and societal racism…. Make way to luxury flats by destroying council estates and blocks…

àElephant and Castle  and kennington prices tripled since the millennium..

The power of grime comes from transmuting the anxiety, pain and joy of inner-city life into music. That power shifts and bends its form as the world around it changes, and will continue to do so.