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Symposium: International Modernism and the Worker Village: from Essex to Shanghai

10.00 am to 4.00 pm

An online symposium discussing the importance of International Modernism in the UK and China.

‘International Modernism and the Worker Village: from Essex to Shanghai’ is an online symposium assessing the development of the pioneering British Modernist projects of the 1920s and 30s for working communities in Essex, specifically Silver End in Braintree, the Bata Estate in East Tilbury, and the Becontree Estate in former Essex, now London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. These are explored in comparison to Caoyang Yicun in Shanghai, built in 1951 as the first new worker village in China. Conversations between residents, historians, architects, artists and curators will discuss the evolution of factory life over the past 100 years, through the lens of design, society, lifestyle and politics, as well as the impact of public art within these working towns.

The symposium is part of the public programme for Cui Jie’s solo exhibition at Focal Point Gallery ‘New Model Village’. Speakers include Gillian Darley, Cui Jie, Verity-Jane Keefe, David Knight, Mike Tarbard, Wenny Teo and Zhou Jianjia, with archival and audio interventions from Joe Namy. The full programme will be announced shortly.

This event is organised in collaboration with Becontree ForeverLondon Borough of Barking and Dagenham and with the support of the Paul Mellon Centre. The event is part of FPG’s Radical ESSEX programme.

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