Rebranding Precarity: Pop-up Culture as the Seductive New Normal

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Zed Books Ltd., Oct 29, 2020 - Social Science - 320 pages

'Pop-up' is a fully-fledged, new urbanism. Celebrated as a flexible and exciting new form of place making, pop-up culture includes temporary or nomadic sites such as cinemas, container malls, supper clubs, even pop-up housing and is now ubiquitous in cities across the world. But what are the stakes of the ‘pop-up’ city?

Traversing a wealth of fascinating case studies, Rebranding Precarity shows how pop-up works to rebrand insecurity and encourages us to embrace precarity as the new normal. Revealing how urban crisis has particular temporal and spatial characteristics, defined by uncertainty, instability, fractures and gaps, it illuminates how those markers of crisis have been optimistically reimagined over the last few years, through an examination of seven logics that rebrand insecurity including within housing, labour economies and gentrifying areas. In doing so, it paints a frightening picture of how crisis conditions have become not just accepted, but are in fact desired, in today’s metropolis.



The micro
The meantime
popup logics precarious futures

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About the author (2020)

Ella Harris is currently a Leverhulme Fellow in the Geography department at Birkbeck, University of London. She has academic expertise in urban cultures of the recession/austerity era, as well as in interactive documentary as a research method. She has published widely on pop-up culture, housing precarity, interactive documentary and compensatory cultures.