CFP – Nordic Geographers Meeting

Session N8 – Artist strategies and methods of resistance in the regenerated city

Urbanism as process and product is the source and profit of capital production. Hence the city, its urban fabric and socio-spatial structure manifest and correlate with its economy. Artists and art have long been at the centre of the economic transformation of the city with a well-established relationship between the arts sector and the private (commercial) sector of urban regeneration and gentrification. This varies from the temporary inhabitation of post-industrial urban areas and buildings under disrepair, as studios, galleries, and sites for temporary art works, through to the flagship tenant status of educational, gallery and museum institutions, and the commissioning of public artworks within urban redevelopment and regeneration projects. Their presence builds a positive image of a cultural ‘creative hub’ that both attracts a different social set and adds value to the area. This added cultural and commercial capital value asset for the developers render art and artists as complicit agents in social and economic injustices and inequalities effected through regeneration and gentrification processes. Their actions valorise the decanting of low-income residents and independent businesses, and help to striate the socio-economic make up of urban areas from which they eventually also end up excluded.

This panel seeks to bring together researchers from across disciplines such as artists, geographers, curators, spatial and socio-economic theorists and practitioners to question and propose how might art, and artists contribute as agents for positive long-term socio-political change? One in which their actions and artworks do not give credence to developer and governmental neoliberal regeneration and gentrification strategies. Contributions are invited in the form of papers, presentations, and performances/readings that challenge the current status quo and propose alternate strategies, and methods of resistance and action for artists and art in the regenerated city.

Dr Pat Naldi (Art Programme, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London) Please submit paper abstracts to


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