"There is tenderness only in the coarsest demand: that no-one shall go hungry any more" – Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia (1974: 156)
I can’t recommend enough the deeply sobering interview that James Butler conducted with a Balfron Tower evictee in Tower Hamlets. An upsetting if timely riposte to the egregious Wonga-fuelled boosterism that has characterized recent ‘debate’ about economic ‘recovery’ in the UK. In Butler’s own words:
“It seemed strange to me that so many journalists and commentators write about renaissance or regeneration of an area without bothering to talk to people who are being slowly disappeared from it.”
While Butler’s interview reminds us of what it is like to live at the sharp end of a crisis shaped by dispossession and displacement, Trespassing Assemblies has posted a suggestive piece on “cold harbours,” debt and housing precarity. The piece unpacks the etymology of the phrase “cold harbour” linking it to a complex history of necessity, shelter and asylum. We are told that cold harbours are refuges of last resort and the piece leaves us to reflect on our own time of revanchist austerity and that it is imperative that we cultivate a right to the city that is a right to housing and a radical commitment to care, empathy and hospitality.