Arcadia // Ben Waddington

Wed 29th May // 6pm // 90mins

Meet: Colmore Row end of Great Western Arcade B2 5HU

An evening of Walter Benjamin-inspired flânerie through Birmingham's shopping arcades - which in 1890s Paris would be the most fashionable destination to be seen.

‘To lose one’s way in a city, as one loses one’s way in a forest, requires some schooling.’ – Walter Benjamin

A ‘window shopping’ stroll through three very different Birmingham’s city centre arcades in the spirit of the fashionable nineteenth century Parisian strollers. At once a barometer of Birmingham’s changing cultural (and non-cultural) identity and a satire of contemporary consumer habits. How have arcade wares changed since Benjamin’s era? In 2019, have we evolved a rational buying aesthetic or are still being presented with the same old tat that nobody really needs or wants, yet the sale of which props up our economy?


  • Comfortable footwear and weather-appropriate clothing essential.

  • Accessible route

  • Arcadia first ran (as ‘Arcades Walk’) during Flatpack Festival in 2015