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Sebald Variations

The Disappeared City

Lecture by Iain Sinclair


The philosopher Frédéric Gros said that “learning to walk is learning to disobey”. Many thinkers have followed in the footsteps of Rousseau, Nietzsche and Thoreau in championing the countercultural dimension of wandering around, of walking as a form of political resistance, as a way of thinking about – and then rethinking – cities, what they are and what changes they have undergone. For decades now, the writer and film-maker Iain Sinclair has been constructing an urban mythology in the city of London with numerous works embracing essays, activism and writings on W. G. Sebald. With his literary walks through the city, Sinclair staunchly defends the history of neighbourhoods that are now all but buried beneath large-scale urban planning projects, while also opposing gentrification and other changes that obliterate the memory of the city.


On the occasion of the publication of the Spanish edition of London: City of Disappearances (La ciudad de las desapariciones, Alpha Decay), Iain Sinclair will be speaking on Thursday 14 May about the concept of “disappearance” in today’s cities, and discussing the ways in which metropolises might enter into dialogue with their past and, without erasing it, keep evolving.

The following day, on Friday 15 May, Sinclair will read from and comment on Sebald’s work in the Sebald Theatre of the exhibition (in English only).

The ticket for the lecture on Thursday 14 May is also valid – after 6 p.m. the following day – for the exhibition “Sebald Variations” and Iain Sinclair’s lecture in the Sebald Theatre.

Presenters: Javier Calvo

Participants: Iain Sinclair

This activity is part of Sebald Variations

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