Date(s) - 14/12/2018
6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Grenfell Tower: ‘stay put’ and preparedness
The Grenfell Tower disaster, in which at least seventy two people were killed in a London tower block fire, has been considered to be a potent symbol of gentrification and disaster capitalism. Through a case study approach the role the ‘stay put’ strategy, is considered in terms of the history of fire safety preparedness in tower blocks and its specific deployment at Grenfell. In order to understand the interaction between building design and subsequent preparedness for disasters we need to be cognisant of the economic and social realities of the modern cityscape.
Professor John Preston is Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex and an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Leadership Fellow in Conflict, Crime and Security. John’s work considers the racial and classed contexts of preparedness campaigns for disasters and emergencies. This has involved analysis of preparedness campaigns and films from the Cold War in the UK and US, reappraising working class children’s agency in the Aberfan disaster, community case studies on the racialization of public information for terrorist attacks, comparative analysis of national cultures of preparedness and critiquing popular conceptions of existential threat from nuclear war to A.I. ‘super-intelligence’. John has acted as PI on both ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) and EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Science Research Council) interdisciplinary projects related to preparedness and disasters. His ESRC Leadership Fellowship examines preparedness cultures across a number of comparative contexts (UK, US, Japan, Germany and New Zealand). John has also written widely on issues of skill and education where his research has been funded by UNESCO and the EU. His latest book, “Grenfell Tower: Preparedness, Race and Disaster Capitalism” considers the role of social inequalities in Preparedness, focussing on the ‘stay put’ policy in the Grenfell Tower fire.
18:00 Registration, tea/coffee and networking
19:00 John Preston – Grenfell Tower: ‘stay put’ and preparedness
The event is in the Grandstand, John Charles Centre for Sports
The closest parking is free for up to 3 hrs, so you may want to park across the road in the free long stay car park