Culture as Contradiction in Urban Regeneration: Sanitization, Commodification and Critical Resistance in Liverpool One

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/

Abstract

This essay uses critiques of the homogenization of urban regeneration practices over recent decades to examine Liverpool ONE (L1), a privately owned, open-air retail develoment in the center of the historic city. The argument considers the role of a particular concept of culture in enabling major projects, which frequently involve the conversion of public resources into private assets, to be projected in a benign light. Countering this trend is a core mission for New York-based activist artist, Reverend Billy and his Church of Stop Shopping Choir; an inspiration to young artists in Liverpool. Since opening, L1 has functioned as a focal point for critical cultural interventions, whereby artists draw attention to the enclosure of urban democracy that results from the corporate takeover of established commercial streets. This essay examines two interventionist projects which deployed the potential of performance to critique Liverpool ONE: Duke Aid, executed by undergraduate performing arts students from Liverpool Hope University (2009), and Ghost Town (Liverpool Gothic Festival, 2013), written and performed by Alice Colquhoun and Izzy Major.


Keywords

corporate culture, critical cultural practices, Duke Aid, Ghost Town, global city, privately owned public land, Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Choir, urban democracy, urban regeneration

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Professor
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faruk
Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)