7th February, 2014 / 11.00am - 4.00pm
8th September, 2019
Walking tour revealing the hidden structures of the ‘Ring of Steel’ – a security installation around the City of London’s financial district that mirrors the boundary line of the ancient Roman structures of the London Wall
First introduced to counter the IRA bombing campaign of the early 1990s, the ‘Ring of Steel’ acts as a heavily surveilled invisible boundary to protect the financial centre of London.
Led by artist and researcher Henrietta Williams in collaboration with UCL Urban Laboratory and the Open City Documentary Festival, we will meander through the streets of the Square Mile passing by sentry boxes and carefully designed bollards, one-way roads and heavily fortified flower planting – all hidden systems of so-called fortress urbanism. We will notice how public streets have shifted to private space, trace the introduction of CCTV cameras into urban space, and probably be chased away by private security guards. Contemporary defense blends with the brick and stone of the Roman Wall in a complex manifestation of urban security that is easily revealed once you know what to look for.