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A Visual Essay - Examining the Flora and Fauna of Middleport, in relation to the Pathfinder Housing Renewal Programme, and its legacy.

FRANCIS, Anna (2019) A Visual Essay - Examining the Flora and Fauna of Middleport, in relation to the Pathfinder Housing Renewal Programme, and its legacy. In: Adapt The Nothing. Nicola Winstanley, Stoke-on-Trent, pp. 44-49.

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Text (6 page visual essay, commissioned within Artist's Book by Nicola Winstanley.)
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Abstract or description

Anna Francis was commissioned to create a 6 page visual essay, exploring an area of Stoke-on-Trent (Middleport) which had previously been earmarked for demolition in the Pathfinder Housing Renewal Scheme. This visual essay aimed to engage with the flora and fauna of Middlpeort today, as a way of tapping into cultural and socio-economic factors which have impacted the area, since the collapse of the Pathfinder Scheme.
This 6 page visual essay was commissioned as part of Nicola Winstanley's artist book 'Adapt the Nothing,' Documenting a research project, inviting artists, and other professionals to walk with her in a part of Stoke-on-trent which has seen significant upheaval and change over the past 20 years - as a result of various regeneration programmes.

The remit of her project was around a reflection on how places can be impacted by external factors and decision-making, and what this does to the experience of place, for people (and in my case, interested in the impact this has on flora and fauna there too.)

The resulting artist's book 'Adapt The Nothing' is a meditation on the Middleport of today, where there is a lot still to be done, but where there is so much to celebrate.

Description from page one of visual essay:
The announcement of the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder, in 2002 described a programme which would herald a new era for communities. It aimed to see an end to poor housing, and declining communities via the ambition of a coordinated partnership approach across private, public and voluntary sectors. The aim was to reverse the legacy of decades of neglect and under-investment.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott fronted the scheme, and in his opening remarks in
‘Sustainable communities: building for the future,’ he announced;
‘We now have an opportunity to do things differently and to break from the past. It is an opportunity we cannot shy away from, and which we will all be judged on in years to come.'

Included within the following pages are quotes from various sources, reviewing and concerning the Pathfinder scheme, and its impact on communities.
One of the failures of Pathfinder (of which there are many) was in its inability to treat places, and their people as individual. A wholesale approach to regeneration will never work, as each place, and its community, far from being fixed, is constantly moving and shifting. Each will always require an approach which recognises and celebrates the particularity and yes, the peculiarity of places. Taken as a theory, the Pathfinder may have included some positive aspects, but mishandling by governmental quangos, and a lack of adequate accounting have led to the legacy of the failed programme.

Item Type: Book Chapter, Section or Conference Proceeding
Uncontrolled Keywords: regeneration, housing renewal, stoke-on-trent, Pathfinder, artist led, community development,
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Depositing User: Anna FRANCIS
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2019 14:25
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2019 15:11
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5561

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