Monday, 1 June 2009

the manchester modernist society is born!

dear friends, bluestockings, urbanists, boffins, flaneurs, loiterers, idlers and dandies,

it was a great privilege to be asked to write a welcome note to the brand new manchester modernist society, set up by my young friends and colleagues miss ward and mr hale for the promotion and enjoyment of 20th century manchester, in the manner of an informal friendly society or club. i do hope you will find it of interest and perhaps even join in some of its coming activities....

here is a transcript of my thoughts about this promising new endeavour. see you at a get together soon...

A welcome from EP Niblock-

Manchester prides itself on being the Original Modern City...

And as the 21st century gains pace and we leave the awkward noughties behind, the cityscape, more than a decade on from the almost mythical ‘96 bomb blast that kick-started its rapid reinvention, continues its incredible transformation, rapidly shedding its famous industrial skin, the patina of its 20th century incarnation, for a shiny new one. The perfect opportunity then as we hurtle excitedly into this uncharted imminent future to examine the almost ‘archaeological’ landscape of the century we have only just left behind, itself a hundred years of massive social, physical and cultural change.

This is a century that practically all of us have witnessed, influenced and survived, yet ironically from the point of view of the built environment one that threatens to disappear quite unceremoniously from our shared consciousness, like so much discarded rubbish. and whilst we recognise that the city by its very nature erases itself as it expands through history, we enjoy the untidy relics of past lives it leaves in its wake.

Why another organisation dedicated to the city I hear you ask - we already have Urbis and CUBE, both doing a splendid job of showcasing its delights to visitors and Mancunians alike? And do we really need another society – surely there’s enough with the Civic Society, the Twentieth Century Society, the Manchester Geographical Society? Each of these special interest groups do a marvellous job within their specific remits, but their very formality, so crucial to their campaigning aims and ambitions may well have prevented all but the self confident activist from joining up and getting involved with their worthy work.

Here at the nascent Manchester Modernist Society we love the city past, present and future. We are keen to document, investigate and celebrate the city in the broadest sense, in the spirit of the amateur and the enthusiast. On the street, at ground level, inscribed in the footprint of the city, in the gnarly carbuncle of the careworn, the overlooked, the neglected and forgotten fabric of the city, not simply it’s tarted up million dollar revamps or its grand municipal giants.

We want to explore the extraordinary story of the 20th century in the broadest possible sense, especially its everyday vernacular landscape, start conversations, bring people together, raise awareness and perhaps even make the occasional difference – but most of all to get out there and enjoy ourselves in it.

This is a small group with a big idea - to create a friendly and accessible old fashioned club for understanding, celebrating and involving us all in the ongoing story of our daily lives in this infuriating, fascinating and fabulous city – by and with the people who make it alive – YOU!!

manchester modernist society
can be found here...

1 comment:

Posie Rider said...

Oh you are a fabulous lady writer too! I'm very heavily a bluestocking as well, and I just love a good manifesto. Postmodernism is truly passe and terrible for the skin (I too am jetlagged and thoroughly dehydrated). All hail the return of reasonably sized skyscrapers, severe haircuts and outrageous literary techniques like multiple narrative voice and loose punctuation, gasp! Can I start an N1 franchise please?