Day 1:
3:00 Class
1) Roll.
2) Quick background look into Thatcher-ism and the punk subculture in Britain
3) Discussion of meaning, structure, and symbolism of Savage Messiah

4:10 Class
1) Roll.
2) Question activity (Group, Analyze, Answer).
3) Element activity (Identify, Reproduce, Extend).

Day 2:
3:00 Class
1) Roll
2) Comparative Media of the City:
a) Structure/Identity
b) Alienation/Community
c) Disconnection/Encounter

4:00 Class
1) Roll
2) Comparative Media of the City:
a) Structure/Identity
b) Alienation/Community
c) Disconnection/Encounter
3) Question Grouping Activity

Savage Messiah is a collection of 'zine issues written by Laura Oldfield Ford, 11 in total, each were originally published separately.
Wednesday: Issues 1-4 (introduction is optional but helpful).
Monday: Issues 5-8.
Friday: Issues 9-11.

Laura Oldfield Ford's blog:
Her twitter:
Wiki on Laura Oldfield Ford:
Interview w Mute Magazine:

Reviews of the Book:
Paul Gravett:
Verso guide to political walking:

East London:
A positive spin on youth subculture:
30 min BBC retrospective on East London as "melting pot on film":
Variety of cultural expression set against iconic East London landscape, East London Dance TV:
Experimental video of East London estates:
Depiction of London estates as slums:
Trailer for recent popular film, Attack the Block, set in London estates:
East London as "hub of creativity":
Music video for "East London is Back" by grime artist Maxsta:

'Zines (Self-published magazines):
Trailer to doc on 'zines, $100 and a T-shirt:
Radio show about the birth of a 'zine, Quitters Quarterly:
Online 'zine library:

Olympic Development:
1) Overview of the Olympic Boroughs:
2) Images from a 2013 Poverty Profile of London, Olympic boroughs selected in blue boxes (mine):
3) Government report on progress via "convergence": indicators:
4) *Academic report on human dimension of Olympic development, suggests alternatives (see page 14 for summary):
5) The Guardian's lead Architecture/Design writer's negative review of Olympic development:
6) Interviews with local business owners with negative opinion about Olympics:

I contacted Dr. Paul Watt, Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies in the Department of Geography at the University of Birkbeck so we can introduce an expert perspective on urban development in London. He forwarded me 5 articles that he has written on the topic and answers to some structured questions, which are posted below.


1)Laura Oldfield Ford harshly criticizes Olympic development that authorities said was going to "regenerate" East London. Are Ford and other critics "afraid of progress"?

Depends on what you mean by ‘progress’ I guess. To associate the kinds of regeneration that London has with as progress per se seems to me to be a very limited perspective. There are plenty of ways that east London could be ‘regenerated’ which offers genuine improvements to local people’s lives, and especially those on low incomes. For example, there’s a crying need for both more genuinely affordable housing of various kinds (notably subsidised social rental housing), improved housing (in terms of quality), as well as improvements in community facilities, health services, library and educational services, etc., etc. There’s no shortage of social need in east London – the problem is that the major regeneration efforts are not about meeting such needs – they’re about making a fast buck, often via upscale property developments which are way beyond the income levels of many locals and especially young people. See my pubs on this.

2)Because of her "no future" punk attitude, Ford seems very negative and does not offer a lot of proposals. Is she fighting the inevitable or are there alternatives to gentrification?

Nothing is inevitable – sure there are major forces in play which make genuinely progressive change difficult to occur. But all notions of inevitability do is cede total control to the powers that be under the spurious logic that historical change has to occur in X direction. There’s no good reason to take this defeatist logic on board. The alternatives to gentrification in London are well known – i.e. more social (especially public) rental housing + private sector rent controls (as apply in Manhattan) – both measures would allow low income populations to live in expensive urban areas. Of course neither of these is exactly politically popular – but this is not the same as saying there are no alternatives.

3) Personal opinions about "welfare queens", pervasive drug, and class mobility were raised by students as moral judgments against helping people in poverty. How does urban development take these into account? (And if you would care to, explain their truthfulness/relevance to East London).

Not exactly sure what this means to be honest. If students are saying ‘why should people who take drugs and have welfare payments be assisted?’ then this seems to me to be very narrow conception of citizenship. The European social democratic notion of citizenship involves providing welfare (in the broad sense – health, education, cash payments, etc. ) to every citizen as of right.
This tends to contrast with the US notion of welfare as a residual system which only caters for those people at the margins of society who cannot access welfare via the market. The former is a collective notion of citizenship whereby everyone benefits either directly (e.g. via receipt of services) or indirectly (the rich having safer streets because the poor are less like to rob them). The US model is essentially individualistic - to hell with the weak and the poor – let charity, an underfunded public welfare system and the penal system take ‘care’ of them. One of my favourite films is the Coen brother’s ‘Blood Simple’ with the immortal opening voice over – ‘’when in Texas, you’re on your own”. And to make matters more complicated – one of the issues with many of the new low-level service jobs that are being created in east London (as elsewhere in the UK) is that such jobs are often part-time, insecure and low-paid – in other words, they simple create a ‘working poor’ population (see my 2003 Urban Studies paper). Sorry – bit of a ramble.

Jake Mulkey 'Savage Messiah'

Key Concepts of Punk:

  • No future
    • o You don’t like the past because it is full of all the things we don’t like; thinking about the past is conservative
    • o Punks don’t like conservatives; hippies with hate
    • o Think that the current state of things has destroyed potential for having a good future; therefore there is no future because everything is unfulfilling
    • o Old school punks—‘die before I’m 25’
    • Agitation as a Lifestyle
      • o Going against everything, the only way to get out the rage of stagnation is to live in a state of agitation

About the book:

  • Punk style of ‘zines—written by people who decide to publish their own material; distributing your own voice
  • London and the punk scene
  • Collection of ‘zines from 2005-2009, context around the winter Olympics
  • Method is to go on drifts—art walking to explore cities through psychogeography—London as it is being redeveloped
    • o Psychological potential
    • o The ‘zines are fictionalized a bit to give a dark take on the city
    • Specificity after ‘zine 3

Different elements of the text—‘Savage Messiah’

‘zine #3


  • Sketch portraits
  • Symbols of punk (hearts, eyes, crosses)
  • Photographs
    • o Sometimes draws over photographs to emphasize points
      • § Adds to chaos and agitation in the text
      • § Adds emotion to pictures, design
      • § Imposes own graffiti on text
  • o Buildings
  • o Graffiti
    • § Cynical quotes, abstract/angst
  • o self taken photographs
  • o photographs of other random people she describes
  • Writings
    • o Describes places
    • o Describes people
    • o Describes her actions

Laura Rickrich - Live Blog

-No Future – don’t like the past, trying to be transgressive, do not like conservatism
-They think the current state of things have prevented a future
-Sense of Agitation (as lifestyle) only can live in the present because past and future suck. Be an agitator…

Laura Oldfield Ford:
–Modern punk
-Wants you to either love or hate her

Visual Artist
-Typewriter, pen, etc
-Zine – contraction for magazine, self-publication possible through zerox machine

Savage Messiah
-London during reconfiguration for Olympics
-Method = “Drifts” – art walking invented in the 60s.
-Map psychological geography – assess landscape for psychological potential
-Pastiche – bringing different things together in a medium

Issue 3:


Photography: People, buildings, graffiti

Portraiture: sketches, self-taken photographs

Texts/type, cynical/dark quotes and words

Sketch symbols (crosses, hearts, eyes), draws on images

Live Blog: 4:10 Exercise - Zach Bieber

Part 1: Mediums/ observations

1. Eyes - photos, also draw
2. Crosse
3. Sketches - graffic, portraits, details and adds to existing material, shading
4. Collages
5. Text - quotes, diaries, describing landscapes, describing characters.
6. Photos - people, places, signs, symbols, sometimes blurry

Part 2: Reproducing


Sketches- Symbols -
IMG_2968.jpg IMG_2969.JPG

Text - "9.45. Traverse the precarious point where the Marylebone road becomes the Westway. Slope down a subway of violet tessellations, little tiles glowing like amethysts beneath a film of grime. "

*Zach Bieber live blogged on 1/29 and it didn't save.*

Micro Blog:
Warren Brantingham - Class Brainstorm from 2/3/2014