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Publication - Mr Earl Harper

    Ecological Gentrification, Post-Politics and Fetishisation

    Bristol, UK, As European Green Capital

    Citation

    Harper, E, 2016, ‘Ecological Gentrification, Post-Politics and Fetishisation: Bristol, UK, As European Green Capital’., pp. 1-17

    Abstract

    The paper argues that the European Green Capital Initiative has become enrolled in a post-political moment in Bristol, UK, to aid in ongoing processes of 4th wave gentrification. The paper utilizes a visual semiology approach to understand the signifiers presented by two key videos which were produced by the Bristol Green Capital Partnership to ‘sell’ Bristol to the rest of the world. These videos, analyzed in the context of Wilson and Swyngedouw’s (2015) definitions of post politics demonstrate a clear tendency for the city to become fetishized in various ways, but mostly focusing on middle-class, cultural and creative conceptions of ‘fun’ and ‘quirk’ to enroll a specific social configuration in their portrayal of ‘Green’ politics. This enrolment, it is argued, leads to an emptiness of the signifiers present and produces new nature(s) which are perceived as incontestable and unified ‘truths’. The paper then argues that this unification of the non-unifiable is problematic for allowing a political moment to emerge from different conceptions of nature. The paper concludes with a radical call to re-evaluate Lefebvre’s Right to the City thesis in relation to reclaiming socio-natures and allowing for a more political politics to emerge around the notion of difference and contestability.

    Full details in the University publications repository