Yesterday’s post featuring an eight-second video of some graffiti declaring an allegiance to Chelsea Football Club reminded our CSO of the changing dynamics of a neighbourhood which is adjacent to that hosting Mediolana’s London HQ. Chelsea (as distinct from the football club vaunting its name) is in many ways a paradigm for exploring the trends of globalisation and financialisation:
- 1%. The streets off the world-famous King’s Road – a thoroughfare that has been a byword for fashion and glamour for the best part of five decades – are paved not merely with gold, but computer-generated credit. Financial industries professionals are now a significant presence in a part of London where whitewashed houses and pristine pavements are of a level seen only in the world’s most expensive neighbourhoods.
- 99%. Traces of a modernist, shabbier Chelsea remain in the form of the area around the World’s End, where near-socialist-era tower blocks act as a reminder that even a prestige location is no guarantee of a dreamlike cityscape.
- 100%? Chelsea has transformed from a parochial neighbourhood marked by racism and social exclusion to an area that is part film set, part film set annexe. Whether this is a recipe for stability or insanity, only time will tell.