July 2012 (1st edition)
The Art of Dissent: Adventures in London's Olympic State brings together a body of work that has emerged in response to the arrival of the Olympics in East London.
Artists, writers, film makers, academics, photographers and activists intervene in the dominant discourse, language and images of regeneration and the Games. The book examines both the political economy of the mega-event and the silenced history of Lower Lea valley, making a powerful case against the politics of erasure and the corporatisation of urban space. Issues of land grab, displacement, military urbanism and exceptional measures of legal protection are explored through essays, images, poetry, fiction and installations.
"This book is a monument to dissent. Not a celebration, not a
commemoration of past events, but a monument – it preserves, for
the eyes and ears of the future, the enduring vibration of a series
of dissenting percepts and affects, landscapes and faces, visions
and becomings. We have brought together a collection of works that
shake up the cartography of the sensible and the thinkable enacted
by the Olympics. The contributors gathered in this volume have
refused their role as recipients and spectators of the Olympic-led
transformation and acted in myriad ways – subtle, militant,
analytical, passionate – upon the arrival of the Olympic machine in
the East End of London. In doing so, they have challenged a key
element in the production of consensus around the Games: the
division between those who may speak and those who may not, between
that which can be discussed and that which cannot. This is a book
made of words that were not meant to be heard, images that were not
supposed to be seen – a slit in the consensual space of London
Excerpt from "Introduction: Intervening in London 2012″, by the editors.
"It's no surprise that artistic responses to the Olympics are
forming a serious body of critical work. From Lara Almarcegui to
Laura Oldfield Ford and Iain Sinclair, the Art of Dissent brings
together some of the best."
Anna Minton. Author of Ground Control.
"This collection opens up and explores the space between the
Olympic Games seen as global spectacle and the mega event
experienced as a disturbance to the flows and places of east
London. The Olympic Games bring many hidden legacies. One important
one is a stimulus to reflection and debate about the city and its
futures. As well as redesigning large parts of the host city the
Games force us to re-think and re-map borders and territories.
Linking aesthetic apprehension to critical sensibility in a
collection of striking pieces, this volume records a valuable
account of the debates, experiences and perspectives that
characterise Olympic London."
Dr Iain MacRury. Director, London East Research Institute, UEL. Author (with Gavin Poynter) of Olympic Cities: 2012 and the Remaking of London.