To launch their new book Regeneration Songs: Sounds of Investment and Loss from East London editors Alberto Duman, Dan Hancox, Malcolm James and Anna Minton presented papers followed by a conversation between artists Dean Kenning and Jessie Brennan, chaired by Alberto Duman.
The impact of global capital and foreign investment on local communities is being felt in major cities across the world. Since the 2012 Olympics was awarded to the British capital, East London has been at the heart of the largest and most all-encompassing top-down urban regeneration strategy in civic history. At the centre of this has been the local government, Newham Council, and their daring proposal: an 'Arc of Opportunity' for developers to transform 1,412 hectares of Newham. This proposal was outlined in the promotional movie London's Regeneration Supernova shown to foreign developers and businesses at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
While the sweeping changes to East London have been keenly felt by locals, the symbolism and practicalities of these changes – for the local area, and the world alike – are overdue serious investigation. The speakers will discuss how places are turned into simple stories for packaged investment opportunities, how people living in those places relate to those stories, and how music and art can render those stories in many different ways.
Music for Masterplanning: The Complete Soundtracks (2016) for which this book also counts as output, was available to view from 3pm. Music for Masterplanning was a project about place, people and music that researched, collected and recorded a compilation of 17 soundtracks for the London’s Regeneration Supernova movie, all made by those who live, work or play within the boundaries of Newham’s 'Arc of Opportunity'. The project was developed in 2016 through a Leverhulme Trust artist in residence scheme at UEL across the Departments of Architecture and Music.
Seen for the first time in its totality, 17 versions of the same promotional movie for Newham’s ‘Arc of Opportunity’ (2010) was screened with the 17 soundtracks composed for the Music for Masterplanning project in 2016.