Date: Monday 9th May
Location: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Price: £20/18 members/10 concs
Novelist and London psychogeographer Iain Sinclair is joined by Katharine Hibbert, founder of affordable housing enterprise Dot Dot Dot and author of Free: Adventures in the Margins of a Wasteful Society, Angus Hanton of Intergenerational Foundation and Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson for a discussion of the social and cultural significance of London’s property price boom. In many ways, London is booming. The city is buzzing and full of life. But crazy house and rental prices mean that the artists and young people can no longer afford to live here. As a result, we’re seeing a talent drain to Berlin, Lisbon or to more affordable parts of the UK. What can be done? Has London lost its edge?
Come and join the debate at the Conway Hall. A free podcast of the evening will also be posted on our website and the event will be broadcast by Resonance FM. Iain Sinclair has lived in (and written about) Hackney, East London, since 1969. His novels include Downriver (Winner of the James Tait Black Prize & the Encore Prize for the Year’s Best Second Novel), Radon Daughters, Landor’s Tower and Dining on Stones (which was shortlisted for the Ondaatje prize). Non-fiction books, exploring the myth and matter of London, include Lights Out for the Territory, London Orbital and Edge of the Orison. In the ‘90s, Sinclair wrote and presented a number of films for BBC2’s Late Show and has, subsequently, co-directed with Chris Petit four documentaries for Channel 4; one of which, Asylum, won the short film prize at the Montreal Festival. He edited London, City of Disappearances, which was published in October 2006. In recent times, he has published Hackney,That Rose-Red Empire (2009), Ghostmilk (2011) and ‘American Smoke’ (2013). Sinclair’s account of a one-day walk around the orbital railway – London Overground – was published in June 2015. Sinclair is currently working on a new book called The Last London.
Katharine Hibbert spent two years exploring the world of the squatters and scavengers who use London’s empty homes and wasted food and goods to survive. Her book, FREE: Adventures on the Margins of a Wasteful Society (Ebury Press, 2010) tells their story. She then set up Dot Dot Dot (dotdotdotproperty.com), a social enterprise which allows people who would like to help others through voluntary work to live cheaply in buildings that would otherwise be empty. Dot Dot Dot now houses hundreds of people across London and the South East for around a third of ordinary market rent, enabling them to give tens of thousands of hours a year to good causes.
Tom Hodgkinson grew up in London, moved to Devon in the noughties and back to Shepherd’s Bush in 2013. He is the author of How to be Idle, How to be Free, The Idle Parent, Brave Old World, The book of Idle Pleasures, the Ukulele Handbook and the forthcoming Business for Bohemians. For five year he rented a commercial property in Notting Hill. –