Vancouver Matters



I just finished reading Vancouver Matters a  book  in which artists, architects, and urban planners presents the city of Vancouver through a variety of uncharacteristic urban elements as a “counterpoint to the highly calculated and constructed mythologies of the city.” As a relatively new comer to the West Coast, there have been a number of unique urban elements that I have observed that are particular to Vancouver. Many of these urban features may seem banal and might not even  been “seen” by residents but they add to and define the West Coast landscape.

Many of the chapters examine material elements within Vancouver that are ubiquitous to its landscape and explores the different ways of looking at the city by reframing these elements and allowing the “specificity of the material condition to inform a particular” engagement  with Vancouver. Each chapter  reveals a hidden feature and are as follows: Andesite, Blackberry, Freeway…

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Favela Painting Project

Favela painting project

In 2006, the Dutch artist duo Haas&Hahn started deaveloping the idea of creating community-driven art interventions in Brazil. Their efforts yielded two murals which were painted in Vila Cruzeiro, Rio’s most notorious slum, in collaboration with local youth. The artworks received worldwide coverage and have become points of pride in the community and throughout Rio.

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A Populous Place

A Case Study of India!

With over 1.2 billion people, India is the second most populous country and the largest democracy in the world (the United States has about 315 million).  India is the 7th largest country by area.  India has more than 27 cities with populations in excess of one million (2001), yet nearly 70% of the Indian population is rural.  India possesses a large, ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse population with numerous dense urban centers.

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Social Justice and the City – CFP for Hong Kong Conference

Progressive Geographies

Call for Papers: An International Conference on Social Justice and the City

Organised by Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University, on 4th – 6th December, 2013

at Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

In Memory of Neil Smith, Who Had Devoted His Life to Social Justice

The Objective

Since the publication of David Harvey’s seminal work Social Justice and the City in 1973, discussion about social justice has grown into a burgeoning literature. There has been research to query procedural justice in various forms and for different classes. Research has also been carried out to operationalise the more philosophical debates about justice, with Henri Lefebvre’s concept of the right to the city being the prominent case in point. Finally, there is a growing literature addressing the interrogation of social justice from the spatial perspective such as Mustafa Dikeç’s spatial dialectics of injustice. All these discussions are so relevant to…

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ReSpace: Designing with Salvaged Materials

Phila Planning Journal

You may have heard of Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores that sell salvaged building materials and fixtures. Some stores even offer deconstruction programs with the ability to disassemble entire houses and save as much re-usable material as possible. But, have you heard of Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, North Carolina’s ReSpace design competition? The challenge was to “design a small, unique, and transportable structure with reuse materials at the core, from concept to construction.” The Grand Prize Winning design will be constructed in a 48-hour build by Habitat for Humanity (HfH) volunteers and then sold to benefit the local HfH program. This program has the ability to raise awareness about the beauty of re-use materials and showcase some very creative designs. The top prize went to a minimalist wood structure with one wall made of reclaimed glass bottles that the judges felt could create constantly changing textures and colors…

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Biutiful Barcelona [10-15-minute video research article trailer]

My undergraduate students are busy making iMovie video final projects for a non-traditional literary survey class and I figured I might give it a try (theirs are much better I assure you). I’ve done this as a 10-15-minute video version of the argument I make in a recent article. Maybe it is more like a research article trailer… Anyone else out there making video articles? [It helps that youtube (at least for my account) allows video uploads of up to 15 minutes.]

The article is:

Fraser, B. “A Biutiful City: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Filmic Critique of the ‘Barcelona             model.’” Studies in Hispanic Cinemas 9.1 (2012): 19-34.

New Book – Burkhalter on Popular Music in Beirut

This book offers the first in-depth study of experimental and popular music scenes in Beirut, looking at musicians working towards a new understanding of musical creativity and music culture in a country that is dominated by mass-mediated pop music, and propaganda. Burkhalter studies the generation of musicians born at the beginning of the Civil War in the Lebanese capital, an urban and cosmopolitan center with a long tradition of cultural activities and exchanges with the Arab world, Europe, the US, and the former Soviet Union. These Lebanese rappers, rockers, death-metal, jazz, and electro-acoustic musicians and free improvisers choose local and transnational forms to express their connection to the broader musical, cultural, social, and political environment.

Burkhalter explores how these musicians organize their own Continue reading