Hackpacks and the right to the city: some thoughts

Great Blog from former RHUL Cultural Geographer Thomas Dekeyser. Thomas has just started a PhD at Southampton, supervised by another recent RHUL Geography alumnus Dr. Bradley Garrett, and is researching the politics and subjectivities of ‘subvertising’ (the attacking/altering of outdoor advertising by activists and artists). His broader fields of interest include urban subversion, video art and radical political philosophies

Distorted space

Image by Strike Image by Strike

It costs an advertiser a few £10k’s to access bus shelter advertising spaces, it costs you £6. After their involvement with Banksy’s Dismaland exhibition, Strike Magazine! have been working to ensure public access to a third of the global outdoor media landscape; offering inhabitants the tools to claim their right to at least a part of the city. Their hack pack comes with a handy how-to guide.

Guide by Brandalism - Design by Strike Guide by Brandalism – Design by Strike

For Lefebvre (1991), the production and management of space is a dynamic central to the performance and manifestation of power. In the case of outdoor media, through private ownership, the advertising industry controls a significant channel of communication by turning it into a legalised marketable commodity set to work in favour of corporate flows, while working in a ‘public’ setting. Its re-appropriation by inhabitants then becomes, unavoidably, a claim to the right to…

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