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Urban Change Film Series: Memory Block

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

This event marks the first in a series of screenings and conversations exploring the theme of Urban Change and is a collaboration between BIMI and the Department of Geography.


For this first event we are pleased to welcome Chris Saunders ( who will be showing his film Memory Block ( HD colour 15 minutes 2016) as well as a as yet unfinished work exploring the relationship between class and gentrification.

Memory Block explores the phenomena of the now demolished Heygate Estate becoming the go-to 'urban dystopia' film location for over 70 feature films and crime series from 2007-10. Memory Block shows up how, as a result of systematic long-term disinvestment/ planned underdevelopment the 'problem' estate came to be seen as 'sexy' in the symbolic economy. Memory Block suggests this fetishization of poverty and deprivation is part of the Degeneration phase of 'redevelopment' and serves the useful purpose in the developer's social cleansing process by further distorting and wiping the social memory.(

Chris Saunders will be in conversation with Dr. Paul Watt (

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Contact phone: 020 7631 6115