BRIAN FRANCIS CULKIN
Brian Francis Culkin is a writer, theorist, and film director.
Prior to being fully committed to developing his his craft as a writer, filmmaker, and artist - Brian graduated from Skidmore College where he was a standout student-athlete. After breaking every scoring record in the school's history, with nearly 1800 points and national accolades, he played professional basketball in Europe for a year after graduation.
Upon playing, and after working briefly in real estate finance, he founded and became managing director/CEO of United Mortgage Group, a commercial and residential mortgage firm where he managed a team of twenty brokers and operational staff from 2004 -2010.
In terms of writing, he has written extensively about topics ranging from contemporary urban gentrification to the history of boxing; the Presidency of Donald Trump to an analysis of 21st century global capitalism; heroin addiction in modern American society to the cultural development of Boston, Massachusetts; the ideology of neoliberal globalization to Amazonian plant medicine; contemporary cinema to human sexuality.
His books include The Meaning of Trump, Postscript on Boxing, There is No Such Thing as Boston, Conversations on Gentrification, On heroin (2019), The Problem for Men (2019) and the forthcoming novel, Into the Jungle.
He also curates the website, www.thegentrificationofboston.com
He has written and directed three films, including the feature length documentary The Mission, the documentary short Voices, and the short film, Now, Passage.
For more information, please visit his personal website at
"On a formal level, contemporary gentrification is only that of a reorganization of urban space by which a pre-existing neighborhood — usually working class, formerly industrial based — is transformed into a tract inhabited by transient, cognitive professionals. The aesthetics of the neighborhood are changed, property values rise, the politics are altered. But beyond these features, ultimately what happens as a result of this process is that the sense of community, the sense of sharing something in the City neighborhood is lost. Gentrification is truly the “every man for themselves” phenomena. It is raw neoliberalism — society as that of a competition between individuals administered through legal contracts — applied to the urban topography.
In a way I think that the concept of gentrification is now something that can be used to articulate that which occurs beyond strictly the urban neighborhood. It is something that is happening to people, no matter where they live. It is a way to describe the quality of the space that now exists between us."
- From 'Conversations on Gentrification'
But this is the precise tension of our time that the individual is now made to contend with when surrounded by a digital world: the not so simple task of discerning reality from what is illusionary, fact from fiction, and of finding where the line that divides them resides. In many ways it is that very ambiguity that is a central factor contributing to the continual decline of boxing culture and logic amidst our virtualized contemporary conditions."
- From 'Postscript on Boxing'
"Cinema, like the disruptive nature of the contemporary global economic order, is itself a medium that is always-already vanishing before our very eyes, just like the social compositions of many of Boston’s famed neighborhoods that have likewise vanished before our eyes in recent years as well. Cinema is based upon the paradoxical persistence of an image, a montage, or a scene that recedes from view the very moment one is able to comment upon it. The more one struggles to evoke its meanings, the more cinema vanishes into the obscurity of that which cannot be resolved. There is always a surplus left over in the imaginary significations on cinema, more than any analysis can ever fully grasp."
- From "There is No Such Thing as Boston"
"By all accounts it seems that we are quickly rushing toward an inflection point in the unfolding of the American story: will our country be swallowed whole by the techno-capitalism being furiously unleashed by Wall Street and Silicon Valley, a metastasizing and multiplying force that is now spawning division and strife across American society nearly every day, given cover by the media as its causes are displaced to anyone and anything that can suit for the next news cycle; or, will a new politics emerge that can re-symbolize what it even means to be American and save us from ourselves?"
- From "The Meaning of Trump"
"The contemporary heroin addict is a symbol, he is a symbol that bears witness to this very socialized trauma. But, at the very same time, she is also a symbol of hope, of what could come after “wiping the slate clean” and opening to promise and potential of healing. And although it is absolutely essential for our culture to recover from opiate addiction, it is also essential to recover from the unconscionable trauma leveled against the basic dignity and freedom of human beings around the world over the past several decades, and to find new ways to revitalize the eternal human needs: friendship, community, local sensibility and culture, and basic respect for each other in the public spaces that define our worlds."
- From "On Heroin" (2019)