Marc James Léger

This chapter describes the works shown in A World Where Many Worlds Fit, an exhibition from 2008 to 2010 that presented activist art made in the context of anti-globalisation protests against neoliberalism. The essay examines the political presuppositions of the ‘movement of the movements,’ as the alter-globalisation movement came to be known in the mid-2000s. It explores the presumptions and blind spots of workerist post-politics and contrasts this to contending viewpoints and critiques. In the concluding passages, the essay briefly explores Henri Lefebvre’s writings on the state from the 1970s and proposes that biopolitical protest is not merely opposed to the state but is also a feature of its self-revolutionising, a process that is radically open to transformation.

in Vanguardia
Jonathan Chatwin

This chapter tells the story of the first years of Republican rule, and in particular that of China’s first president, Yuan Shikai. It explores the history of Zhongnanhai, China’s presidential compound, with a particular focus on the years when Mao Zedong lived there.

in Long Peace Street
Jonathan Chatwin

This chapter describes a visit to Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery, China’s national cemetery. Established in 1951 for the burial of revolutionary martyrs, the site is home in perpetuity to the remains of many of the elite of the Chinese Communist Party. In particular, it tells the story of Peng Dehuai, China’s former Defence Minister and one of the key leaders of the Chinese Communist Party during the revolution, who was purged from the party after daring to challenge Mao over his management of the Great Leap Forward in 1959.

in Long Peace Street
Marc James Léger

‘Beyond Socially Enraged Art’ proposes that the task of cultural revolution is to redefine today’s political struggles in class terms. Through Alain Badiou’s study of the Chinese Cultural Revolution as well as Régis Debray’s analysis of guerrilla struggle in Cuba, the chapter provides a working model for recent efforts to unite socially engaged artists, as occurred at the January 2015 symposium of Artist Organisations International.

in Vanguardia
Jonathan Chatwin

This chapter tells of the history of the city, from its first founding by the Mongol Yuan dynasty to the early twentieth century.

in Long Peace Street
The development and design of the city 1660–1720

This book is about the making of London in the period 1660-1720. This period saw the beginnings of a new understanding of built form and a transitional stage in the transmission and articulation of that form in design procedures. The book discusses the processes and methods by which the development of the city was financed and organized. It considers the leading developers and questions to what extent the traditional model which attributes responsibility for the development of London to aristocratic landlords is a viable one. The book looks at the structure of the building industry and assesses how it was adapted to meet the demands of the production of speculative housing on a scale and at a pace never previously experienced. It outlines how concepts concerning the form of the new terraces were communicated and transmitted through the building chain and finally realized in the built product. The book focuses on the discipline of architectural history and is primarily concerned with architectural and urban design issues. It talks about drawings as the sum of an architect's oeuvre, rather than the buildings, or the drawings and the buildings together. The book provides information on the style and layout of the new developments and explores the extent to which they can be categorized as a 'modernizing' phenomenon.

Marc James Léger

The magazine Adbusters sparked a massive national and worldwide social movement against neoliberal economic policy and global capitalism. The question of whether the Occupy Wall Street encampments would make one demand to the US President or several demands led to a broad popular discussion of class inequality. OWS exposed the phenomenon of class polarisation, which reacts to structural problems in contradictory ways. Such contradictions are shown to be at work in the new forms of post-revolutionary and post-political horizontalism, pointing to both the potential and limits of OWS.

in Vanguardia
Abstract only
Honest artisans and crafty contractors
Elizabeth McKellar

Dan Cruickshank has characterized the constructor of the Georgian speculative house as a builder rather than a craftsman. This chapter investigates who the craftsman was and the ways in which he operated in speculative development, an area in which architects were not involved as designers, although sometimes as developers and investors. It necessarily concentrates upon practice among the higher ranks of the building trades, although more information about the divisions and structures within those trades is needed for a fuller picture. Linda Clarke insists, as the result of a rigidly deterministic Marxist mode of analysis, that the building tradesman remained an artisan; full capitalism, based in her view. The master builder or building contractor is usually seen as a nineteenth century phenomenon, with Thomas Cubbitt in the early nineteenth century being seen as the first of a new breed.

in The birth of modern London
Jonathan Chatwin

This chapter relates the history of the Shougang Iron and Steel factory, sited out at the western limit of Long Peace Street, and discusses the potential future plans for the now disused site. It also surveys the destructive years of the Great Leap Forward, and Mao Zedong’s preoccupation with industrial development.

in Long Peace Street
Jonathan Chatwin

This chapter continues to discuss the change witnessed in Beijing in the first two decades of the twenty-first century, and the seemingly endless process of destruction and rebuilding which has characterised the city’s regeneration. It also discusses the 2008 Summer Olympics.

in Long Peace Street