Promising Home – Creating a New Pendleton – the 1960’s

Forward to the City Centre Beautiful”, Salford City Reporter, 11th March 1961.

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Image courtesy of Salford Local History Library

At the start of the 19th century Pendleton was an independent township, largely an agrarian patchwork of farms, meadows and crofts. Housing in the area was comprised mainly of timber framed cottages. From the late eighteenth century onwards, the area witnessed the arrival of merchants and their families from Manchester and Salford. Escaping the urban centres, they built large houses along the main roads and “breezy heights” of Pendleton and so doing, gained cleaner air and less crowded conditions. By the 1840’s when Friedrich Engels was researching the conditions of the working class in the Salford area, the majority of Pendleton, along with surrounding townships however now formed “unmixed working people’s quarters, stretching like a girdle, averaging a mile and a half in breadth” around the centre of Manchester (1).

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Promising Home – The People’s History Museum, Manchester

From October 29th to January 13th The People’s History Museum, Manchester will host an IUD ‘temporary research space’ in its Community Gallery. The research space will make available a range of photographs and materials we’ve produced while documenting the changing state of council housing in Pendleton, Salford.

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IUD Archive Image (2014)

Based in a tower block in Pendleton, we have been recording and researching the estate since 2004. The Community Gallery exhibit will highlight a wide range of images and research materials from this extended period of research that critically examines the estates recent transformation.

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IUD Archive Image (2013) – Walk with Dr Simon Faulkner & David Reeb

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Planetary Gentrification

0745671659This collaborative project published by Polity Press attempts to challenge classic notions of gentrification. Using a transurban comparative analysis it asks us not to over generalise this process of urban transformation all too often linked to the ‘Global North’. It asks how can we make sense of the many specific cases of gentrification happening across the world within a context of on-going planetary urbanisation.

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Documenting the Danwei

“ A whole history remains to be written of space – which would at the same time be the history of powers – from the great strategies of geo-politics to the tactics of the habitat… Anchorage in a space is an economico-political form that needs to be studied in detail.”

Michel Foucault The Eye of Power (1977)

Danwei Street with plants and washing

IUD image. Guangzhou, China: 2014

As part of our long term project exploring the surviving remains of  ‘socialist sites’ IUD have been documenting the residential areas of the Chinese danwei in Guangzhou’s Haizhu district.

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West of the Tracks (Tie Xi Qu)

Wang Bing’s immersive nine hour documentary epic explores the changing world of China between 1999 to 2001. Set in the North-East of the country in Shenyang, his observational style records the physical and social textures of the regions heavy industry in its final stages before closure through bankruptcy.

Divided into three sections (Rust, Remnants and Rails) the documentary uses a ‘direct cinema’ approach to faithfully witness the people caught up in the massive changes to their work and homes as a consequence of reform era changes to the former planned market economy. See Jie Li’s excellent article for a further analysis of the film’s context and cinematic style West of the Tracks – Salvaging the Rubble of Utopia.

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West of the Tracks (2002)

“Finally Got The News” – Radical Documentary

How do workers coordinate a struggle when the bosses and Union are the enemy?

Inspirational radical documentary made in the late 1960’s in association with the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. The film charts the racism and exploitation of black auto workers in Detroit and their attempt to collectivize and gain a voice in their workplace despite the violence and corruption used to suppress them. The League didn’t just see the need for black workers to organise but emphasized the potential power of all the working class.

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