75% of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2050. What effect will this
increase have on our relationship to the urban environment? How will the growth of
megacities and massive urbanised regions change the way we live? And how can urban
activists, academics, commentators and the public enter into this debate?
Addressing these ideas, this year’s ‘This is Not a Gateway Festival’ offers over 60 events themed
around the idea of the city and the ways in which we interact, analysis and shape our urban
environment. The annual festival will take place in the Kobi Nazrul Centre and Hanbury Hall,
Hanbury Street, Spitalfields, London over 3 days from 23-25 October 2009.
2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall and with this in mind This is Not a
Gateway (TINAG) pays special attention to the issues of building and re-building in former
Communist eastern bloc countries. An exhibition by photographer, Nikola Mihov entitled
“Forgotten Past” documents the most important Communist monuments built in Bulgaria between
1948 and 1989 whilst TRACE Project explores the heritage value of the commemorative
architectural complexes from the Socialist period. Joanna Erbel leads a discussion about the
dynamics of transformation in Polish cities after 1989, asking ‘For whom do post-socialist cities
Other event highlights include:
Oh, That’s Interesting! – each day 10 emerging urbanists from across Europe and a range of
disciplines present their research or opinions disecting cities on a soapbox for 5 minutes.
Optimistic Immigrants – An evening of films, music and discussion that explores the complexity
and joys of migration and then settlement in new cities.
Redux – The International Guerrilla Video Festival – A selection of films curated by IGVF. IGVF
is a mobile festival that transforms public space into a fertile ground for experimentation by
projecting site-specific videos directly onto building facades, monuments and temporary structures.
Spaces of Faith – Tour of East London Mosque and an international panel discussion about the
contribution of faith buildings to cities. Speakers include an Iman from the first mosque built in
Spain for 500 years, along with promient thinkers and architects. An artist will present her work of
one street in Birmhingham where over 40 faith buildings are located.
DIY Urbanism – Peer-to-Peer workshops on how to influence your city; including A to Z Of Getting
Your Book Published; Going Freelance – Taxes & Other Complexities; Organising & New Political
This is the second Festival organised by ‘This is Not a Gateway’ (TINAG), a not for profit
organisation, that seeks to offer a platform for emerging academics, urbanists, architects,
filmmakers and artists whose point of departure is the city. Working on a grass roots level TINAG
seek to gather knowledge from around the world relating to the way in which we inhabit cities.