At the heart of the "The City and the City" by China Miéville is a magnificent leap of imagination. Taking a concept of how we relate to one another as strangers, sharing the intimacy of the street while constructing our own personal narrative, accounting for but not recognising others, the author creates a world where that's been institutionalised.
It's hard for me not to relate these ideas to the recent disturbances on the streets of London where, arguably, those rules of engagement were literally torn up. There's enough analysis on the events themselves. Worthy of reference is Peter Marshall in particular. So, without intending to use them as material for an abstract intellectual analysis, my response is framed by my obsession about the streets and our relationship with them.
For me the fine line between two or more Londons that exist at once in our own non-fiction world was disturbingly exposed. I practise photography on the streets because, as I've written in my recipe for street photography, I love the mix of people that share them. As a street photographer I have to transgress that conditioned state of unseeing, ironically creating its own conflicts although safely contained within my own mind, occupying a place between.
My enduring experience of the riots was witnessing the fragility of those boundaries and recognising the very nature of the city is temporary. As another well known thinker phrased it, "all that is solid melts into air".