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School of Law

Dispossession Film Screening and Panel

22 January 2019

Time: 6:30 - 9:45pm
Venue: Arts Two Lecture Theatre, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, E1 4NS London, United Kingdom

In 2017 housing rose to the top of the British political agenda for the first time in a generation. But despite the media spotlight, few stories examined the catastrophic long-term failures that resulted in a chronic shortage of social housing in the United Kingdom.

Continuing with our #QMULGrenfell events, the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) at Queen Mary University of London School of Law will host a screening of Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle followed by a panel discussion.

A limited number of free tickets for individuals facing financial difficulty are available. If you would like to request one of these, please e-mail

Timings on the night 

18:30 - 20:00 Film Screening

20:15 - 21:45 Panel 

About the Film 

'Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle' explores the agenda behind the neglect, demolition and regeneration of council estates in the UK over the past thirty years. The film reveals how individuals and communities are fighting against the state and private developers, as they try to save their homes from demolition, while investigating the decisions that turned a crisis into a tragedy.

Dispossession is the story of people who know that housing is not an expensive luxury, but a fundamental human right.

Find out more about the film and director.

About the panel

A panel discussion and Q&A will take place after the screening. The panel will be chaired by Dr Daniela Nadj. Our panel includes:

Paul Sng | @sng_paul | Director and producer of 'Dispossession', Paul Sng’s work focuses on telling the stories of people who challenge the status quo. Following the success of the documentary 'Sleaford Mods - Invisible Britain'. Paul formed Velvet Joy Productions, an independent studio based in Brighton in 2015. His documentary about the failures and deception behind the social housing crisis, 'Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle' was released in 2017 and it has been screened around the country.

Antonio Roncolato | Antonio was a resident of Grenfell Tower having lived there since 1990. He works as a restaurant manager in a West London hotel. He has made regular media appearances over the past months, where he has spoken about the stress and discomfort the community is experiencing in the aftermath of the fire.

Dr Victoria Cooper | Victoria is as a Lecturer in Social Policy and Criminology at the Open University. Her research focuses on homelessness in relation to: housing, hostels, the criminal justice system, community punishment, geographical displacement and evictions. She is co-editor (with Prof David Whyte) of 'The Violence of Austerity' (2017, Pluto Press).

Joe Delaney | @joedafoneUK | Joe is a resident of the estate near Grenfell Tower, and has been a very vocal activist for the victims, their families and other affected residents of the Lancaster West Estate. He has advocated on behalf of the Grenfell Action Group and is currently on the Committee of the Lancaster West Residents Association.

Dr Lisa McKenzie | Lisa is a research fellow in the Department of Sociology at Middlesex University, her work focuses upon on issues of social and class inequality. Her work builds upon the narratives of working class communities collected through political ethnographic research. Lisa brings an unusual and innovative approach to research as an activist and by means of her extensive experience of bringing the academic world and local community together. Her most recent book is 'Getting By: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain' (Policy Press 2015).

Jamie Burton | Jamie is a public interest lawyer who has worked on housing, homelessness and social welfare issues for many years.  In addition to case work he has given many lectures and talks on human rights, law and social policy. He is Chair of Just Fair, a charity that campaigns for better recognition of economic, social and cultural rights.

Professor John Preston | John is Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex.  His research is on the inequities of disaster preparedness and his latest book is 'Grenfell Tower: Preparedness, Race and Disaster Capitalism' (Palgrave, 2018).

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