SMC_MCR October: What Lies Beneath – Unseen Journeys Through the City

Map drawn by Fredrich Engels 1844

SMC_MCR Tuesday 2nd October, 6.30pm – 9pm – The Northern, Tib Street, Manchester (Directions)

Please register to attend here.

This month’s SMC takes a different twist and looks at the hidden Manchester

During 2008 a tipping point was reached where over half the world’s populations lived in towns or cities. To some, cities seem to be the pinnacle of human evolution to others uncontrollable sprawls relentlessly encroaching on the countryside.

Manchester has a unique place in the pantheon of cities. It was the first industrial city, which allowed some to accrue tremendous wealth whilst workers lived in desperate poverty. It was from this crucible of inequality that globally important new ways of thinking about wealth and society were formed. Manchesterism or Manchester Liberalism was a school of economics, born out of the injustice of the corn laws that promoted free trade over the protectionist mercantilism of the time. It also created the background through Marx’s friendship with Engels – whose father owned a mill in Ancoats – for Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto.

That Manchester became the world’s first industrial city is probably not an accident. It had the right climate for processing cotton, was proximate to the sea and had its own supply of coal. Because it was the first industrial city it is also the oldest and the traces of that city still echo in the weaver’s cottages, mills and canals that still exist.

The Manchester of today is a complex organism of infrastructure, people and systems. It has subterranean passages, department stores with ballrooms and places where things of consequence once occurred. Much of this is hidden and this month’s SMC_MCR hopes to offer a glimpse into this hidden Manchester through four 15 minute presentations.

Sessions:

Dr. Steven Millington

The Mancunian Way Walking Tour was devised by Manchester Metropolitan University and The Manchester Modernist Society, as part of the URBIS Research Forum in 2009.  The Tour has been repeated many times as a device to engage the general public in critical ideas about urban geography, architecture and planning, affording participants to explore the sensual and material qualities of place of the unique landscape created by The Mancunian Way motorway.

This presentation explains the rationale behind this walking tour, loosely inspired by Iain Sinclair’s London Orbital, to highlight the qualities of walking as a means of urban exploration.  Finally, the presentation explores alternate ways of discovering Manchester which utilise multiple sources of geographical data to create new traces and routes across the city.

Morag Rose – Remapping the city through Anarchoflaneurie

The LRM (Loiterers Resistance Movement) is an open interdisciplinary collective interested in exploring and sharing our love for Manchester. We embark on psychogeographical drifts to decode the palimpsest of the streets, uncover hidden histories, challenge power structures and discover the extraordinary in the banal. We aim to nurture an awareness of everyday space, (re)engaging with and (re)enchanting the city. This talk will share field notes from our experiments in anarchaflanuerie and introduce a range of tactics that we use to transform the streets into a playground as we search for new ways to look at, feel and remap Manchester.

Yuwei Lin – Mapping your world

Yuwei Lin of Salford University talks about the importance of having freedom to access, view, change and (re) distribute geographical information and how people can get involved through the free/open source platforms like Open Street Map. For more information about Yuwei’s work visit http://www.ylin.org or http://hiyashi.wordpress.com

Julian Tait – The Systemic City

Please register to attend here. See you there!

Manchester: A Digital Future – Join the debate at our May event

For May, we’re making a one-off change from our regular format to shift to mid-month for a special event. Read on for details, and how to register to attend.

As part of the FutureEverything festival, #smc_mcr in association with CityCo hosts a discussion looking at Manchester’s digital future. The panel represents opinions from policy makers, business and the broader digital community.

Manchester has an opportunity to become a leading connected, digital city, but there are many challenges ahead if we are to make this a reality.

Recently, Manchester was awarded money from central government to begin the process of implementing a fast data infrastructure for citizens and businesses alike. There have been several recent reports such as the Greater Manchester Growth Review, The Manchester Digital Strategy and Manchester Digital Agenda that propose ways that the city, and the Greater Manchester region will be able to fulfil its potential.

How will these plans benefit the people and businesses of the city? And will this offer a fair and sustainable future for the city? The appetite and ideas are there, but can Manchester lead digitally in the 21st Century?

To attend, please register for a free ticket.

Panelists
Alex Roy – Head of Research, Commission for the New Economy
Dave Carter – Director, Manchester Digital Development Agency
Erinma OchuDirector, Squirrel Nation
Dave Mee – Director, Manchester Digital Laboratory (Madlab)
Tim Roberts  - Director, i-COM

Chair – Martin Bryant – Managing Editor, The Next Web

Date: Tuesday 15th May
Time: 18:30 -20:30
Venue: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shudehill, Manchester

Image credit: Andy Buckingham

The internet is a cruel place

December’s SMC_MCR – Nigel Barlow

Paul Stokes,co founder of the Daily Mash,was the guest of honour at the third anniversary meeting of Manchester’s social media cafe last week.

The Daily Mash can claim to be the UK’s first satirical website,launched by former Scotsman business editor Stokes and Neil Rafferty,a former political correspondent for the Sunday Times
Stokes told the audience at the Northern Quarter’s Matt and Phred’s that the Mash started as a a way to stop him getting fired from the traditional media.

Launched in 2007,nine people now write for the Mash which tries to publish four to five spoof stories a day.

Stokes described his site as “ a joke delivery system” or “the press association in a parallel universe”

Has he had much problem with libel? Well he answered,”we have never had to take a story down and only once were we threatened with being sued”

Indeed,added the co-founder,”with libel the things you get sued for are not what you would expect to be sued adding another piece of advice “never compare anyone to Hitler”

Surprisingly as least to some members of the audience,the interaction of social media is something that the site has tended to shy away from.Instead it is simply used as a broadcast system.

The secret to their success? being funny about topical stuff because people are already talking about it and would like to add some humour to their conversation.

But as Stokes adds,”the internet is a cruel place….you will soon find out if you are not funny”