Working memories

Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space explores how street theatre transforms industrial space into postindustrial space. Deindustrializing communities have increasingly turned to cultural projects to commemorate industrial heritage while simultaneously generating surplus value and jobs in a changing economy. Through analysis of French street theatre companies working out of converted industrial sites, this book reveals how theatre and performance more generally participate in and make historical sense of ongoing urban and economic change. The book argues, firstly, that deindustrialization and redevelopment rely on the spatial and temporal logics of theatre and performance. Redevelopment requires theatrical events and performative acts that revise, resituate, and re-embody particular pasts. The book proposes working memory as a central metaphor for these processes. The book argues, secondly, that in contemporary France street theatre has emerged as working memory's privileged artistic form. If the transition from industrial to postindustrial space relies on theatrical logics, those logics will manifest differently depending on geographic context. The book links the proliferation of street theatre in France since the 1970s to the crisis in Fordist-Taylorist modernity. How have street theatre companies converted spaces of manufacturing into spaces of theatrical production? How do these companies (with municipal governments and developers) connect their work to the work that occurred in these spaces in the past? How do those connections manifest in theatrical events, and how do such events give shape and meaning to redevelopment? Street theatre’s function is both economic and historiographic. It makes the past intelligible as past and useful to the present.

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The imaginary archaeology of redevelopment

3 Excavation: the imaginary archaeology of redevelopment Vaulx-en-Velin, May 2012. I have reached the end of the line. I alight from the subway train at Vaulx-en-Velin La Soie, the ‘multimodal’ transit hub that since October 2007 has connected this far-flung eastern banlieue to Lyon city centre. Diffuse light from frosted skylights bathes the underground platform in a soft glow. Warm-toned woods and evenly spaced palm trees set this station apart from the older, workaday concrete models I left behind in Lyon and Villeurbanne. In the years following this visit

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
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Continuous theatre for a creative city

Solga call the ‘creative city script’ as an official cultural and economic strategy; they hope to position Nantes as a European leader in architecture, design, new media, digital innovation, research, and the fine and performing arts.7 Crucial to this strategy is the redevelopment of the Ile de Nantes, the island in the Loire, just south of the city centre, that served as Nantes’ shipbuilding hub from the nineteenth century to the launch of the Bougainville. Much of the former shipyards has been converted into a park. Traces of the island’s industrial past remain

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
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Working memory

urban and economic change. Bonnard’s reflection on the preservation of the TASE factory reveals much about the stakes of his company’s work, the tensions inherent in deindustrialization and redevelopment, and the issues that will recur throughout this book. Bonnard conveys urgency, even danger. The task at hand is not to preserve a corpse but to save a life, or rather a living connection between present and past congealed for the moment in the fragile structure of the factory itself. This temporal link establishes local identity that might persist despite

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
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Alternative pasts, sustainable futures

, the towering metal stems of the lamps and the bench bend toward them gently, as if curious; less careful spectators cause the sculptures to jerk aggressively. In this concluding chapter I approach these two installations, Giraud’s Le murmure des plantes 2.0 and Fer à Coudre’s Eclosion floraferrique, because they exemplify contemporary French street theatre’s production of postindustrial space.3 Neither is attached to a specific urban or regional redevelopment project, but through their aesthetics, their work on space and time, and the mode of spectatorship they

in Street theatre and the production of postindustrial space
Mass graves in post-war Malaysia

the war dead conjure for the settled Chinese minority? Batu Caves, 2002 On 11 November 2002, Liew Yew Kiew, eighty-nine, formerly a villager of Sungai Tua, Batu Caves, led a contingent of Chinese press, Chinese association members, and Quek Jin Teck, secretary-general of the Malaysian Chinese Cultural Society, to a clearing amidst the thick undergrowth. They arrived bearing eighteen ceramic urns, adorned with lion heads. They were there to retrieve the remains of the ‘9-1 Martyrs’ whose mass grave was threatened by state land redevelopment. Liew had witnessed the

in Human remains and identification

intellectual history of nationalism is too rarely acknowledged (Velkley 2002: 32). This is regrettable. The fact is that he – alongside Herder and Fichte – developed a model for: 1) how the emotional attachment to a nation could be generated; 2) how a redevelopment of the ancient doctrine of patriotism could be transformed into a new, powerful doctrine; 3) how this could be done in practice; and 4) how a doctrine of nationalism could perform the functions of civic religion in ancient Greece and Rome. Rousseau, as already noted, was not the only thinker to develop a case for

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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impression that they were unable or unwilling to reform themselves – ‘I am opposed to mulish opposition to any form of change, based upon a sterile concept of academic freedom, which may be the surest way to its destruction.’ Headlines such as ‘Senate rejects V.-C.’s plan for redevelopment scheme’ or ‘University of X will resist UGC to the death’ would do untold harm. The UGC wanted every university to be good at certain things, but to concentrate on its strengths and not to shore up its weakest points. Professor Welland urged the University not to panic and not to allow

in A history of the University of Manchester 1973–90
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at this ground, the players had a post-game ceremony in which the captains and organisers gave speeches. The captain of the local team offered words of thanks to his Canadian “brothers”: Participation in this tournament contributes to the redevelopment of sport in St. Lucia. We are thankful that you could also find time to come

in Sport in the Black Atlantic
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agriculture, improving higher education, in supporting the important fishing industry and in securing funds for industrial development. There has also been a good deal of innovation in urban re-development and support for the arts. In under-18 education, a key area given the trouble background of the province, attempts are under way (led by controversial education minister Martin McGuinness) to create more non-sectarian schooling. Little has yet been done, but at least the issue is on the political agenda. Above all, however, the main success of Northern Ireland devolution

in Understanding British and European political issues