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The Shard: Financing Space and Life

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Birkbeck Cinema

43 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PD

United Kingdom

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Vertical Horizons: Living With The Shard in The City (Wolseley, 2017)

‘In a city I have lived in for 30 years a transformation is occurring. It is at once obvious, in its massive demolition and construction, yet beyond my experience and understanding. It is all too easy to simply identify this change with a new sublime of global capital. Vertical Horizons tries to expand how the Shard, as an event, is grounded in the complexity of the city, our experience and lives within it’.

This is a meditative film about Western Europe’s tallest building, The Shard, in which artist filmmaker Tom Wolseley juxtaposes views of The Shard from different vantage points around South London with contrasting narratives about the building and his own response to living in its shadow. The film asks questions about the relationship between the individual and larger global dynamics that are manifesting themselves in the changing landscapes of capital cities like London. Does ‘showing that London is open for business’ produce these iconic buildings that are less products of capital than conservative political ideologies? In turn are these architectural projections of an imagined future and present ideologies predicated on nostalgic national and personal modes of identification? Ultimately the film speculates on whether we are in the midst of a re-functionalising of the built environment from cities once understood as places of habitation for people to storage containers for insecure financial assets.

Before the film screening we host a panel on the themes of urban space, financialisation, and regulation.

Speakers to be confirmed.

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Birkbeck Cinema

43 Gordon Square

London

WC1H 0PD

United Kingdom

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