Wednesday, 27 August 2014

F**k Gentrification.. or at least redefine it

So , what is it?.
It's not Development.. is it?.. if so , we have a word for that.. Development
It's not Renovation .. is it? , if so.. we have a word for that too.. Renovation
and I... am a fan of both.

On the news last night I watched the 'Hackney Heroine' talk about the changes taking place in Hackney. She said the changes taking place in the borough were pushing out' local residents.. and killing community spirit ( I'm paraphrasing). I wanted to say to her... ' Interesting sentiment, but you've got no chance..'
Anyway.. she made me think

Pauline Pearce aka the 'Hackney Heroine'

The economic inequality caused by years of racism is possibly more obvious when areas such as the one I live in undergo, what people tend to call Gentrification.
I'm not a fan of the word ( I think I've said before)
It's a loaded term, and by that I mean it's a term which refers to whiteness, cultural imperialism, and white supremacy...all be it.. Indirectly.

As when a group of people have been historically denied access to jobs , decent wages, investment, and a fair deal.. one possible impact is that they may continue to struggle financially to make up for lost time. Potentially anyway, at least, it's logical is it not?.. especially if said discrimination continues, all be it in a less overt form. That group I'm referring to, is non-white.

Wikis definition of Gentrification is ..

'Gentrification is a shift in an urban community toward wealthier residents and/or businesses and increasing property values'.

another online definition is..

..'a process by which middle-class people take up residence in a traditionally working-class area of a city, changing the character of the area'

Nothing is said of Whiteness, or segregation. Definitions tend to skip that bit.

Gentrification was once associated with nobility.. spoke of a particular social class.
I think we should stop using the word to describe what is a dominant group exerting economic power in areas where they may have once run away from. Perhaps we should call it 'Economic 'Racial' Apartheid'.. or even 'White flight back'
It asks a different set of questions of us if nothing else

OTT?.. Hmmm, me? .. Never!. Seriously?.. I don't quite think so.
Some say it's a class war.. but you cannot fully separate 'race and class'. Although you can try.


  1. Well in London gentrification and development are loaded issues for sure whereas in Australia it just means new flats. But we need to preserve London bc quite frankly we have enough unaffordable flats and tesco to last generations