Accepted Paper:

Woolwich: A Photographic Walk through a Heritage Quarter  
Gill Golding (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Paper short abstract:

Using a walking methodology combined with a camera, this visual project uses the regeneration of Woolwich, with its 'Heritage Quarter', as a case study in which to explore the relationship between the urban landscape, the street, gender and space and asks: In whose image has the space been created?

Paper long abstract:

Using a walking methodology combined with a camera, this visual project uses the regeneration of Woolwich, with its 'Heritage Quarter', as a case study in which to explore the relationship between the urban landscape, the street, gender and space.

Woolwich has a rich social, military and industrial history associated with the dockyards and munitions manufacturing. Whilst the Royal Arsenal and Woolwich Town Centre undergo significant regeneration, the new aesthetic appearance reveals an insight into the intentions and priorities of those make decisions about the built environment. The creation of a thematic 'heritage quarter' that features symbolic references to the town's military past, reflects cultural values and ideological interests that invite us to ask: In whose image has the space been created?

The choice of integrating walking with photographic research reflects a belief that encountering landscapes through an embodied practice creates a unique, dialogic relationship with the environment. The use of a camera within this process enables a plurality of perspectives to become visible, thus provoking a critical engagement with the urban space, which in turn widens the analytic frame. Perceptions, understandings and insights into a multiplicity of stories can be gained that allow for a series of interpretations.

Whilst the study concludes that the regenerated 'heritage quarter' draws on and reproduces a consensual view of national history, this visual presentation will address how this method of social inquiry encourages us to view the urban space as a dynamic, constantly changing environment that reflects specific ideological interests.

Panel P077
Urban Memories: Mobility, Materiality and Photographic Practice