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Phil Hubbard

On the Kent coast, the rise and fall of the tide peels away the layers of history. Beachcombers regularly find treasure from offshore shipwrecks, some of them dating as far back as the early medieval period. Pieces of amber, musketballs and clay pipes are ten-a-penny, but some finds attract national headlines. In 2018 a group of local history enthusiasts skirting Whitstable's Tankerton Beach, searching for the remains of World War II pillboxes, spotted the outline of a boat in the mudflats. Subsequent archaeological work found it to be a well

in Borderland
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Clare Hartwell

some of the Manchester Cathedral glass there. The bombing of Manchester in 1940 badly damaged the east end of the cathedral, including part of the north-east Regimental Chapel. Here the east window commemorates the Blitz and the architect responsible for post-war rebuilding, Sir Hubert Worthington. Known as the Fire Window, it is the work of Margaret Traherne and was made in 1966. In red, vermilion and orange, the window illustrates this artist’s interest in colour through use of textured and streaked glass of relatively large, mainly rectilinear panels, in which the

in Manchester
Trevor Barnes

work on a nuclear-war atlas that warned against the ultimate catastrophe, atomic Armageddon, the end of human life as we know it. Bill Bunge, spatial science and map transformations Bunge’s first exposure to formal geographical talk was in 1951. Conscripted for the Korean War, serving in the American Fifth Army, deployed at the Chemical, Biological and Radiological Wartime School at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, Bunge (1988 , xi) taught there what he later called ‘atomic war’. It was also while he was enlisted in the US military that he enrolled in his first class in

in The power of pragmatism
Sarah Kunz

’ or ‘traditional’ expatriate, often in a seeming aside, regularly lack historical perspective and sociostructural context, rendering this a timeless and contextless figure. Occasionally, the traditional expatriate is historically situated in a brief sketch that does not actually discuss the relevant political context, as when Altman and Baruch ( 2012 :246) outline that the ‘traditional expatriation path … was followed since before and particularly after World War II until the 1980s as the common expatriation route’. Elsewhere, the historical horizon is painted so

in Expatriate
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Something rich and strange

Manchester: Something rich and strange challenges us to see the quintessential post-industrial city in new ways. Bringing together twenty-three diverse writers and a wide range of photographs of Greater Manchester, it argues that how we see the city can have a powerful effect on its future – an urgent question given how quickly the urban core is being transformed. The book uses sixty different words to speak about the diversity of what we think of as Manchester – whether the chimneys of its old mills, the cobbles mostly hidden under the tarmac, the passages between terraces, or the everyday act of washing clothes in a laundrette. Unashamedly down to earth in its focus, this book makes the case for a renewed imaginative relationship that recognises and champions the fact that we’re all active in the making and unmaking of urban spaces.

This book explores contemporary urban experiences connected to practices of sharing and collaboration. Part of a growing discussion on the cultural meaning and the politics of urban commons, it uses examples from Europe and Latin America to support the view that a world of mutual support and urban solidarity is emerging today in, against, and beyond existing societies of inequality. In such a world, people experience the potentialities of emancipation activated by concrete forms of space commoning. By focusing on concrete collective experiences of urban space appropriation and participatory design experiments this book traces differing, but potentially compatible, trajectories through which common space (or space-as-commons) becomes an important factor in social change. In the everydayness of self-organized neighborhoods, in the struggles for justice in occupied public spaces, in the emergence of “territories in resistance,” and in dissident artistic practices of collaborative creation, collective inventiveness produces fragments of an emancipated society.

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Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell

As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.

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Infrastructure, financial extraction and the global South

No struggle for social justice that lacks a grounded understanding of how wealth is accumulated within society, and by whom, is ever likely to make more than a marginal dent in the status quo. Much work has been done over the years by academics and activists to illuminate the broad processes of wealth extraction. But a constantly watchful eye is essential if new forms of financial extraction are to be blocked, short-circuited, deflected or unsettled. So when the World Bank and other well-known enablers of wealth extraction start to organise to promote greater private-sector involvement in ‘infrastructure’, for example through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), alarm bells should start to ring. How are roads, bridges, hospitals, ports and railways being eyed up by finance? What bevels and polishes the lens through which they are viewed? How is infrastructure being transformed into an ‘asset class’ that will yield the returns now demanded by investors? Why now? What does the reconfiguration of infrastructure tell us about the vulnerabilities of capital? The challenge is not only to understand the mechanisms through which infrastructure is being reconfigured to extract wealth: equally important is to think through how activists might best respond. What oppositional strategies genuinely unsettle elite power instead of making it stronger?

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Becky Alexis-Martin

scramble for the bomb, and the world became a more dangerous place. As the Cold War crept into being, nuclear weapon tests flung carbon-14 and other isotopes into the global atmosphere, and trees locked away some of these radiation residues with each growing 264 Nature season. The charred stumps within Hiroshima’s blast zone began to thrust out fresh buds. Six ginkgoes recovered. While the blast had destroyed their foliage, their underground root networks endured. These trees became known as hibakujumoku – the A-bomb survivor tree – and Hiroshima regrew and recovered

in Manchester
The invisibility of border-related trauma narratives in the Finnish–Russian borderlands
Tuulikki Kurki

value of literary works. The emphatic documentary style tended to diminish or even hide the authors’ attempt to address traumatic experiences. In the reception of these works, the emotional features of the narratives, often referring to underlying traumatic events, appeared as elements that reduced the credibility of the narrative. Furthermore, until the end of the Cold War, the reception of such works tended to diminish the trauma narratives of border-crossers. The border-crossers were seen as ‘heroic survivors’, and there was no space for a discussion about their

in Border images, border narratives