Redrawing The Maps


Redrawing the Maps will run from 1pm - 9pm, Monday to Friday and from 10am - 9pm on Saturday. This schedule lists events that are already confirmed. All events are free.

For all events, come to the Inigo Rooms in the East Wing of Somerset House.

Click on the entries below to read more, or get in touch to propose your own session.

1pm - 2pm | Starting Points: The Map & the TerritoryBall Room
With Dougald Hine, Ben Vickers, Arthur Swindells

What ground do we want to cover in our week together? We're arriving from different directions, so this opening discussion is a chance to talk about what we want to get out of Redrawing the Maps, what Berger's work means to us (whether as long-standing readers or newcomers), and how we relate to the central metaphor of (re)drawing maps.
5pm - 6pm | Redrawing Our Maps: If you want to respect life, you have to draw a line…Ball Room
With Bread, Print & Roses

“Everything in life, is a question of drawing a line, John, and you have to decide for yourself where to draw it. You can’t draw it for others. You can try, of course, but it doesn't work. People obeying rules laid down my somebody else is not the same thing as respecting life. And if you want to respect life, you have to draw a line.”
― John Berger, Here Is Where We Meet: A fiction

Maps claim to accurately represent of the physical surface of the Earth, yet the story they tell is only ever partial and almost always political. Urban maps trace a built environment that confidently proclaims the inevitability of relentless human progress, but the streets they describe cannot help but host a multitude of other ways of being.

Redrawing maps of familiar landscapes fundamentally disrupts the power of conformity, and questions the possibility of a single way of seeing. Over the course of the week, we will redraw the map of the area around Somerset House, giving form to just some of the multiple ways of being that more closely reflect our lived experience. Together, we will develop a palimpsest of past social and ecological forms combined with memories of personal encounters and moments of realisation, transforming an apparently fixed landscape to one that is constantly formed and reformed, forever pregnant with possibility if we choose to see it.

This session will be followed with a walk on Wednesday evening (6.30-8pm) and a discussion on Thursday (7-8.30pm).
6pm - 7.30pm | A Breakout from the Prison of Modern Time Is PossibleBall Room
With Dougald Hine & Jeppe Graugaard.

'The way I go is the way back to see the future.' (Jitka Hanzlova)

In Berger's later work, the time of Progress is increasingly called into question: rather than providing the historical context within which we move towards a better society, as it did for Marx, the idea of time as a linear sequence is itself a kind of oppression, perhaps the ultimate form of the oppression against which Berger's work is directed. Critics on the left have treated this as a retreat into mysticism, but in this session we will try to make sense of the reasoning behind this argument - and ask where it leaves us, personally and politically.

What happens when we step out of the modern conception of time as Progress and open up to other ways of experiencing time?

Jeppe Graugaard is one of the people behind time culture.

Dougald Hine has written about Berger's 'enduring sense of hope' and the paradox of 'remembering the future' for Dark Mountain.
7.30pm - 9pm | Breaking Bread, Sharing LivesBall Room
With Eleanor Saitta

It is a truism that network culture means a lack of intimacy, a hyper-modern coldness, but it's a truism that anyone who's ever talked to a friend online knows is at least mostly false. There is something to that intimacy, however, that isn't just about one's performance as a node in the network. In this moment, as the network becomes a fundamental organizing structure not only of technical communications but of every day life, of human interaction, we're living through a shift out of our comfortable organizational identities. As that shift happens, we're seeing a return to a kind of primacy of social rules. Berger lets us walk in the intimacy of pre-modern societies, an intimacy that is and can be tightly tied to the way we (can) live in network culture. Let's tell some stories about how we did, do, and can live.