Ill Manors

“I genuinely want to change things. This is just the first step. Let me make my point first and raise the issue, if anybody wants to talk to me about how I think we can change these things I’m ready.” With this statement the British rapper Plan B released his latest track ill manors, persuading the audience that this is not about commerce. This is the real thing! For the guardian reason to honor it with the title ‘greatest British protest song in years’. For lovers of political music -like us- almost to good to be true. The track, basted… Read More

Blame the Architect Assignment

Dear students from the Blame the Architect lecture series, The submission deadline for your riot video has expired on the 15th of March. We look very much forward to enjoy your creations!  Below you find a list of student numbers from which we received a movie. Not on the list? Send an email to Marta Relats. We will grade you around the 30th of April. Received video’s + grade: 1210696     7,5 1285343       7 1302693       9 1387324    6,5 1509934       6 1353063       7 1362178        8 1516981     7,5 4120590       6… Read More

More background stuff on riots – this week we speak French. It’s  October 2005, when suddenly a wave of violence and unrest sweeps the modernist suburbs of France. A story of two boys, a tragic accident, thousands of burning cars and a hardline politician who would become president very soon. Two movies, two articles, and some music this week. The very first thing you should do is watch La Haine: a moving, amazing, and apparently extremely realistic depiction of life in France’s ghetto’s. Nice soundtrack, too. The movie can be watched on YouTube – in non-subtitled ghetto-French, which supposedly is quite… Read More

It’s procrastinate-o-clock again! This time, the most glamorous riot of them all: the Rodney King riots. Los Angeles, 1992. Lots of anger. Lots of guns. Lots of helicopters and cameras. And gangster rap. Ah, Los Angeles. Design as Politics loves it, admittedly because Reyner Banham does too. His book about the city is amazing, but this is even better: watching Banham himself cruise through town for about an hour is indeed an hour well spent. But that’s enough reality for now: more than anything Los Angeles is a place of myth and media and fiction. The city of course stars in… Read More

Yes! Another lecture! And more tips on how to waste time on the youtubes! This week: the 1985 Broadwater Farm riot in London. Extra interesting because of the recent London riots – about which much, much more very soon. For now, lots of grainy VHS-format fun below. The first half of the 80’s were somewhat of a riotous period in the UK: the Broadwater Farm incidents were part of a larger series of uprisings. See for instance John Akomfrah’s Handsworth Songs (part 1,2,3,4), documenting racial tensions leading up to a series of riots in Handsworth, Birmingham (Wouter Vanstiphout’s favourite reggae band… Read More

This post accompanies part two of the Blame the Architect lecture series. This week we’ll discuss the 1967 Race Riots in Detroit; extra material for those who are interested or otherwise unoccupied can be found below. Firstly, please watch this before you do anything else Detroit-related: it’s made by Julien Temple and it’s an absolutely brilliant (8.0 says IMDB)  portrait of present-day Detroit. Yes, that’s a dodgy looking Russian website we refer you to, but unfortunately the documentary is pretty hard to find (or buy, for that matter). For those who like their documentaries sponsored by a shoe brand and featuring… Read More

The coming months, we will be posting links to movies, writings and/or obscure websites that are (at least vaguely) related to that week’s Blame the Architect lecture subject (see post below for the program) – a lecture appendix so to speak. Since this week’s lecture is a general introduction to the theme of the series and the course assignment, here is some stuff on riots in general (part one and two). As for the assignment: enrolled students are asked to make a short, YouTube-uploadable video documenting their own fictional riot. Time to dive into the world of amateur directors, gonzo journalism… Read More

For those who are in London this Friday, like to get up early and enjoy discussing urban violence, the NLA is hosting the perfect breakfast talk. Wouter Vanstiphout will be there giving an introductory lecture. Attendance is free – but you do need to register.