Thomas Baker is a PhD student at the University of Bristol, under the supervision of John Foot and Harry Pitts. Thomas completed his BA at the University of Manchester and a Laurea Magistrale at the University of Bologna. Thomas’s research interests include memory, transformation and identity.


Memory, Forgetting and Being in Post-Industrial Space: Responses to Deindustrialisation

Spaces of factory production during the industrialised era shaped the movement and interactions of those within them. The city’s ex-industrial spaces have often been transformed to the needs of the present economic logic: creating the post-industrial space- leaving little of the physical industrial past. The process of obliteration obscures this past from view creating discontinuity and the post-industrial continues to shape everyday patterns of life in the present, focused on the current economic logic. It is the relationships of social actors connected to these spaces during their changing cycles of industrialisation, deindustrialisation and the post-industrial that is the project’s object of research. Through approaching deindustrialised spaces in a transnational context (Britain and Italy) this project hopes to understand if the responses to the ruptures in post-industrial spaces were diverse and informed by the localised cultural context- the local responding to global events.

The aim of the project is to explore how an implementation of a top-down, macro-hegemonic logic was met with (and by) diverse and varied responses, perceptions and outcomes at the micro-level in the affected spaces. This will allow for a reading of different systems of understanding, patterns of resistance and relations to the space: both in the industrial and post-industrial setting. To achieve the goals of this project it will utilise oral histories, archival research and a visual exploration of the space.