AAJ Press
Art Projects, Commissions & Projects, Competitions, New Books, Publications


You’re invited. We are seeking critical cultural practices  by artists, writers, activists, academics, residents and  anyone who has examined the London 2012 Olympics.

Myrdle Court Press has commissioned Hilary Powell to  edit a book that will document and highlight critical  responses to the official London 2012 Olympic Games  site and Cultural Olympiad. The book will be published in  2012 and will collect the range of critical responses that  have occurred since the governing bodies choose to bid  for the 2012 Games. The book will also present an  overview, history and critique of the Cultural Olympia and  in doing so will argue against the corporatisation of urban space. The critical work, projects and ideas published will be indispensable for citizens of future bidding cities. DEADLINE: Tuesday 31st May 2011.

• A brief outline of the proposed work’s main themes and arguments
• Estimated word count & Biography of the author
• 3 low resolution images where applicable
• Email your proposals to: hilary@optimisticproductions.co.uk

EDITOR: Hilary Powell has been engaged with and producing work and events around the edges of the London 2012 Olympic site since 2007. She is currently working on a three year project entitled ‘The critical Pop-Up book: Re-imagining London’s Olympic Structures of Enchantment’ (AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL). http://www.hilarypowell.com

PUBLISHER: Myrdle Court Press is an independent publishing company that advances the ideas of critical urbanists. It is the publishing arm of the not for profit organisation ‘This is Not A Gateway’. Central Books are the sole distributor of Myrdle Court Press books in Europe.

** Detailed information can be found on: http://thisisnotagateway.squarespace.com/open-call-olympics/


There is currently no book that brings together critical cultural projects and practices that have emerged in response to the Olympics and its large-scale regeneration project. This book intervenes in the dominant discourse and language surrounding the Cultural Olympiad to bring together projects that engage intelligently with the changing landscape – from resistance and counter narratives, analysis of cultural policy, legal frameworks and changing land use to predictions and potential blueprints for future host cities as Russia gears up for the Winter Olympics 2014 and Rio De Janeiro looks towards 2016. Focusing as it does on the work of artists it examines how cities are shaped through cultural memory and spatial practices and presents powerful arguments against the politics of erasure and the corporatisation/militarization of urban space.

The book will address a selection of the following themes:

• (Un)Official Cultural Olympiad
• A Travelling Circus: Learning from London?
• Artists Taking the Lead or Following the Leader
• ‘Art of Regeneration’: Hijackers and Hijacked
• The collectors, collected and collectables
• The Emerald City: Legacy visions
• Urban Village: The Rise and Fall of Hackney Wick
• History Repeating
• The Right Side of London?

Created by: This Is Not A Gateway (TINAG)

Image from ‘Trespassing the Olympic Site’, 2007, Stephen Cornford, (Critical Cities Volume 1, Myrdle Court Press, London: 2009)

About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


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