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Citizens Atlas of London

We are developing a toolkit  of educational resources  to support a network  of citizen mappers located in the  ‘opportunity areas’, designated by the London 2050 infrastructure plan.The network will collaborate on the production of an online Atlas, mapping the past, present and future of  these regeneration areas and, outlining  an alternative vision  of the city. See the  film  for more information : YouTube Video on the Citizen’s Atlas. The thinking behind the project is spelt out in a talk given to the Birkbeck  Institute of Social Research which can be accessed here: https://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2014/10/phil-cohen-our-kind-of-town-citizen-social-science-participatory-mapping-and-the-struggle-for-a-just-city-v2/ It is developed further in two articles in Livingmaps Review Issue 1 and 2 which can be accessed here: http://livingmaps.review/journal/index.php/LMR/article/view/14 and http://livingmaps.review/journal/index.php/LMR/article/view/44  

Rethinking the Legacy 1968

  The conference was a day of discussions bringing together different generations of writers, researchers and activists to consider the political and cultural legacies of 1968, and their bearing on the future prospects for a more democratic, equal and participatory society.  The aim was to help  rekindle the intellectual excitement that characterised the political counter culture of the Sixties but focused on contemporary issues.   Their reflections on how the issues with which we have been dealing have changed over this period, and how our approach as researchers and activists has evolved in response. The aim is to unsettle accounts of the past, whilst mapping the patterns of continuity and change which mark our various fields of intellectual, creative and political endeavour and pondering what the future may hold. In addition to the two plenary sessions, contributions are organised into a number of workshop themes, related to various fields of common [Read More…]

Archive That, Comrade!

Phil is proud to announce his new book, Archive That, Comrade!  Now available!   The book explores key issues of archival theory and practice that arise for any project aspiring to provide an open access platform for political dialogue and democratic debate. It is informed by the author’s experience of writing a memoir about his involvement in the London “underground” scene of the 1960s, the London street commune movement, and the occupation of 144 Piccadilly, an event that hit the world’s headlines for ten days in July 1969. After a brief introduction that sets the contemporary scene of “archive fever,” the book considers the political legacy of 1960s counterculture for what it reveals about the process of commemoration. The argument then opens out to discuss the notion of historical legacy and its role in “the dialectic of generations.” How far can the archive serve as a platform for dialogue and debate [Read More…]

Ben Cohen – My Story No Mean City

    Click on the picture to view the slide tribute to Ben Cohen         Also, please check out the interview with Ben entitled  MyStory – No Mean City: Memories of the Gorbals in the twenties

144 And All That Proud Archivist Event

I was recently invited to read from my memoir ‘Reading Room Only’ and to reflect on the political legacy of  Sixties Counter Culture for the current struggles of ‘generation rent’ and the new precariat. This is a video recording of the talk. I hope you enjoy it. I would love to hear back from you if you have memories of this period and/or any comments on the contemporary relevance or otherwise of the London Street Communes.

A Tribute in Words and Pictures to Ste Thomson

We would like to thank  everyone  who attended the funeral and who sent messages of condolence and tribute   for their  support during this difficult time. It was especially moving to learn that Stephen had so many good friends, many of whom  turned up ,  and who also organised a face book network of over sixty people to share their memories of him.   We are giving the tribute book  to Stephen’s sons,  Ricky and Casey,  to keep  as part of a memory box  which  we are putting together  for them . We have raised nearly £1000  for Alcohol Concern and would like to thank  everyone who  has given so generously. It is still not too late  to make a donation by logging on to : www.justgiving.com/phil-cohen1. Thanks to the generosity of Liz  Haggard we are  setting up a bursary  at Birkbeck College , where Stephen was a student ,  for  first [Read More…]