Underground Discussion Club_Westminster

Actors Ekow Eshun – moderator, professor Katharine Heron, dr. Jon Goodbun, Professor Joe Kerr, professor Sarat Maharaj, dr. Yasminah Beebeejaun

Organization Heather Blair, Michael Maziere

Construction team Christian Newton, Joe Boyce, Mohammed Jaffar Ali, Steve Colson

Video recording and post-production team Teo Cruz, Ivan Ortega Erazo

Assistant Taja Sever

Type of work Project

Location Ambika P3, University of Westminster, London

Curator David Thorp, professor Katharine Heron

Associate Curator Sandie Macrae

Project by Apolonija Šušteršič, Ambika London 2015,

Year 2015

Photo Apolonija Šušteršič, David Freeman and Michael Maziere – University of Westminster

The Underground Discussion Club is a discursive platform that has the ambition to stimulate discussions around topics that require public attention at this moment. The club is limited to a specific number of people, who are engaged and interested in discussing, sharing opinions and arguing about their thoughts and ideas. The Underground Discussion Club is not a wide popular public platform but a small place for intensive and concentrated discussions that might provoke imaginary ideas and (im)possible solutions.

In the case of P3 – Ambika, the exhibition Potential Architecture – Underground Discussion Club concentrates on the discussion around urgent issues related to the elitization and purification of our society today provoked by the decadent form of contemporary capitalism. What kind of impact does this process of radical social, economic and political change have on our immediate living environment – on our cities? How is spatial justice manifested within the city of today? Who owns the city and who decides about its ever-changing character? Are we aware of the consequences of urban change and who benefits from it?

If there is any potential in architecture as a responsible professional field, a field that builds the city, provides structures for the social organization of life and commodifies power relations, then it must be possible to think and reflect upon its own acts, its own doing and the consequences of its own results.

The development of Westminster and Central London sounds like a science fiction story – a place somewhere else – not of this planet – it seems as if the city has already started its own “decay” right here, right now: with this part of London reserved for the super-rich. It seems to be the place with the most empty apartments, with, at the same time, the highest percentage of homelessness within the population of the middle class on the one hand and, on the other, multi-million pound properties that are being built solely for the super-rich who most of the time are living outside the UK.