I’m on holiday in Aviemore at the moment, so apologies for the lack of new posts. I’m going to try and get some more writing done in the next couple of days, but in the meantime here’s a nice and unexpected thing: an artist called MT has written a lovely commentary on the first issue of Looking Glass Heights, the zine about social housing, suicide, art and the weather that I put together for last year’s Thought Bubble comics convention:
MT finishes off her review with the following line: “In today’s climate this comic matters for those working in housing and beyond, it really matters, so I hope there is a Looking Glass Heights #2.” It doesn’t get much more flattering than that! The second issue was supposed to be finished in time for Thought Bubble 2014 (which I really should have written up by now; MT and Zainab Ahktar‘s write ups will give you a feel for the day, while a brief listen to SILENCE! Live will fill in the silliness of the Mindless experience) but I didn’t manage to finish it in time because I’m an idiot.
Issue #2 will feature three stories called History Lesson, the first of which provides an uncertain history of the flats, the second of which charts an encounter between a postman and a minotaur within the flats, and the third of which deals with the difficulties one resident feels when trying to relate a traumatic experience to the authorities.
Mixed in with that will be an essay on the idea of chaotic lives, and another on artistic instability. It should be pretty good, presuming I ever actually get it finished…
For now, here’s an article on gentrification and housing by Tom Slater that’s well worth your time:
My own view on this ‘buildings shape social life’ paradigm is that people’s experience of urban life is determined by their ability to make a life in the neoliberal city, where immediate concerns over, among other things, making rent, feeding your family, finding childcare and a reliable network of support, are rather more important in shaping people’s daily existence and decisions than the appearance of buildings and streets around them. In addition, a substantial body of scholarship exists to show that whilst architectural heritage and urban location/amenities matter to the middle classes, what matters most is profiting from property, or a sound financial investment in housing. These consumer preferences and opportunities for profit have to be produced – they do not just happen naturally.