Festival of Social Science

Dictating to the Estate

Professor Loretta Lees on stage presenting

10 November 2021, 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Dictating to the Estate is a documentary play about the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower. The play places the redevelopment of the tower and its surrounding area in the context of austerity politics and state-led gentrification; and re-enacts the efforts of local housing activists to resist these policies and ensure the improvement works were safely carried out. The play is compiled entirely of emails, blogs, and council minutes from before the fire of June 2017. The Q&A afterwards will allow the audience to ask questions about the consequences of state-led gentrification across London, the stigmatisation of council estates, symbolic and physical displacements, the local political impact of Grenfell in the borough and the obstacles and challenges of choosing and presenting original data.

This event will be a virtual, live performance of 40 minutes of extracts from the play Dictating to the Estate, introduced by Nathaniel McBride, the writer, and followed by a 40-minute Q&A with the audience and invited speakers. The event will take place over Zoom. Q&A panelists will be:

  • Professor Loretta Lees, an urban geographer internationally known for her research on gentrification/urban regeneration, urban policy, urban public space, architecture and urban social theory.
  • Nathaniel McBride, Kensington resident, activist and writer of Dictating to the Estate.
  • Peter Apps, Deputy Editor at Inside Housing, British Journalism Awards Specialist Journalist of the Year 2017 and 2018, who focuses on housing and fire safety.
  • Emma Dent-Coad, Labour Party councillor for Golborne ward in Kensington and former Labour MP of Kensington and Chelsea (2017- 2019).

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