Open City Documentary Festival

across London
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The Return to the City

Contributors are drawn together through their shared interest in London as a site of urban research. The conversation will range from: the effect of lockdown on young people living in estates; the lasting effect of closing down nightlife space; an extension of the surveillance network to biometrics; and move towards a reimagining of public space and the environmental potentials revealed through this seminal moment of locking down the city.

Arranged by Henrietta Williams, Bartlett School of Architecture

With contributions from: Dr Merijn Royaards, Nathaniel Telemaque, Nozomi Nakabayashi, and Dr Edward Denison

Henrietta Williams is an artist and urban researcher. Her practice explores urban theories; particularly considering ideas around fortress urbanism, security and surveillance. She is a Lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architeture, UCL, and tutors across a number of programs with a particular focus on critical film making methodologies.

Merijn Royaards is an artist-researcher guided by convoluted movements through music, art and architecture. The interaction between space and sound in cities with a history/present of conflict has been a recurring theme in his multi-media works to date. His 2020 awarded doctoral thesis explores the state-altering effects of sound, space and movement from the Russian Avant-Garde to today’s clubs and raves. Merijn has been involved as a sonic practitioner with Recomposing The City and Theatrum Mundi and The Institute for Global Prosperity; he is one part of a collaborative practice with fellow artist-researcher and film-maker Henrietta Williams, and he is a founding member of avant-garde improv outfit Deemer.

Nathaniel Télémaque is a Northwest London born and raised visual artist, writer & PhD researcher who photographs and writes about ‘everyday things’ . His research and practice-related work visualises the experiences of a kinship group of Black millennials living on the White City Estate in Shepherds Bush, West London.

Nozomi Nakabayashi’s inspiration in architecture grew through observing people’s everyday life. She enjoys the process of making and designing and her current project extends to vermicomposting at workplace and local allotment in East London. She is a member of Erect Architecture working with play/park design and buildings in the public realm.

“Through visual presentations, sonic installations, and conversation, this session aims to reflect upon the extremis of London in lockdown and to imagine new possibilities of how we might choose to re-inhabit the city space.”