University of Cambridge
Author of ‘Botanical City’ and ‘Moth’
Matthew Gandy will give a short presentation about his recent film Natura Urbana – the Brachen of Berlin (2017) followed by a Q&A discussion. The Brachen of Berlin are unique. Emerging from war-time destruction, economic malaise, and geo-political division, these ostensibly empty sites evolved into laboratories for botanists, artists, and ordinary people seeking respite from the city. Today, however, these unusual spaces are fast disappearing. Natura Urbana explores the spontaneous diversity of plants in these spaces to illuminate the city’s complex history through the post-war period until the contemporary era.
Matthew Gandy is a geographer, urbanist, and cultural critic. He was born in Islington, North London, and is Professor of Geography at the University of Cambridge. He previously taught at University College London where he was Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory. He has also been a visiting professor at several universities including Columbia University, New York; Humboldt University, Berlin; Technical University, Berlin; UCLA; and UdK, Berlin. He published the prize-winning books Concrete and clay: reworking nature in New York City (2002) and The fabric of space: water, modernity, and the urban imagination (2014). He directed and produced the documentary Liquid City (2007), which was premiered in Mumbai and shown at the London Documentary Film Festival. Natura Urbana is his second film.