Art and Housing Struggles conference

Art and Housing Struggles: between art and political organising
London, 31 May to 1 Jun 2018

Across the world, cities are experiencing a so-called housing crisis (Madden and Marcuse, 2016; Edwards, 2016; Brown, 2003; etc.). Financialisation of land and housing (Aalbers, 2016), the increasing dominance of rent (Walker, Jeraj, 2016) and cuts in social wages have degraded the lives of millions of people. Speculative housing bubbles, evictions, lack of social housing, and privatization combined with civic disempowerment, gentrification and lack of maintenance of social housing have amplified a general sense of frustration concerning housing. Indeed, these combined factors are experienced as systemic housing violence (European action coalition for right to housing and the city, 2016; Minton, 2017, Lees etc., 2016; Paton and Cooper, 2017; etc.). In response to this, self-organized housing movements have emerged over the last decade including increased neighborhood campaigns, tenants and renters’ initiatives, anti-gentrification and anti-eviction groups, as well as collaborative local and global housing networks.

The focus of this conference are the contradictions and potentials of art in contemporary housing struggles. We intend to continue building on previous efforts to connect art and housing in discussions surrounding gentrification and social housing (Erdemci and Phillips, 2012; Vona, 2016) as well as rethinking art and housing trough social reproduction (Lloyd, 2017; Dimitrakaki and Lloyd, 2017). We are interested in ‘a fragile but dynamic exchange between art and political organising, including analysing and organising within a close proximity to housing movements’ (Ultra-red).