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Fig. 17.1.
Still from Liverpool: World in One City (2002) (courtesy of River Media Ltd).
city are not merely pushed to the margins of the
urban imaginary; they are conspicuous by their
very absence.
Paradoxically then, the sustained semiotic
saturation that Liverpool: World in One City
confers on the city, far from mapping the sort of
urban lacunae to which such representations
might otherwise lay claim, renders Liverpool a
curiously deterritorialized zone; its 'culture' con-
tingent on necessarily de-localized patterns of
symbolic consumption. Moreover, maintaining
the neo-liberal illusion that everyone has equal
access to these 'material and symbolic' land-
scapes (Highmore, 2005), the fi lm ostensibly
reads like an instrument of New Labour cultural
policy. Despite large-scale regeneration of the city
centre, many areas of Liverpool have seen little in
the way of material improvement; the dilapi-
dated and boarded-up dwellings that punctuate
the urban landscape providing a stark counter-
point to the glossy, 'vibrant' images of glass and
steel that characterize the new areas of devel-
opment. As spatial and material expressions of
the regenerative accumulations of capital that
accolades such as the Capital of Culture status
help cement, it is not altogether surprising that
urban developments like the Liverpool One
complex and other of the city's revamped spaces
of consumption should feature so prominently in
marketing discourses aimed at tourists, shoppers
and venture capitalists alike. However, by the
same token the very persistence of material
expressions of the city's slow and painful urban
decline - inscribed in graffi ti-sprayed bricks and
crumbling mortar - provides at least some
acknowledgement of the socially embedded cul-
tures and everyday tactics (de Certeau, 1984) of
those whose stake in the city (or lack of it) has
remained less readily visible in offi cial narra-
tives; a representational analogue of the
uneven nature of post-industrial capitalist devel-
opment. Against this socio-economic back-
drop, it is instructive to note that, unlike the
childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul
McCartney, both of which are fi rmly on the tour-
ist map of Liverpool (located in the middle-class
areas of Woolton and Allerton, respectively), the
home of Ringo Starr, who grew up in a working-
class terrace house in the Welsh Streets area of
Toxteth, is roundly ignored. One could perhaps
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