Raymond Williams on art and society

Pictures for Schools

I’ve spent the last few weeks reading some books (Culture and Society, 1958, Politics of Modernism, 1996, and The Long Revolution, 1961) by cultural theorist Raymond Williams, as part of an attempt to gain an understanding of the cultural and social changes which took place in the mid-twentieth century, and their relationship to art. In The Long Revolution, Williams places art at the centre of society, reality and the way the world is experienced, and in this regard it was The Long Revolution which I found most interesting and useful. Of particular interest are Williams’ ideas about how communication and art can contribute to new social and cultural meanings which come to coexist alongside old meanings, and how individual members of society and artists can contribute to bringing about this change. I was also interested in Williams’ description of both seeing and the creation…

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Riga Walkthrough

Lisbon Sound Map

“Riga Walkthrough” is a dreamlike sound collage, a mental constructions of the city representing sonic urban colorfulness. The work consists of ingredients as: traffic, public transport, crowds (bars, cafes, markets, stations, shopping malls, supermarkets), sport games, amusement parks, concerts, cinemas, theaters, kindergartens, fireworks, street musicians, airplane drones, church bells, footsteps, halls, hangars, birds, rain, bicycle and skateboard sounds, flagpoles, movements of security cameras, suburban night-time ambiences and other details.

Recorded and composed by Raitis Upens and Rihards Bražinskis, 2012.

Listen here.

© Crónicaster // Crónica Electrónica 2012

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

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[Podcast] Making Cities Work for Women: Gender Equality and Social Inclusion in Urban Policy

the city

wtc

Dr. Sylvia Bashevkin and urban planner Prabha Khosla speak at the Women Transforming Cities National Conference convened on May 30, 2013. Dr. Bashevkin is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto and author of Tales of Two Cities: Women and Municipal Restructuring in London and Toronto (UBC Press). Ms. Khosla is an urban planner who works on cities, equalities, and democratic local governance. She has worked on issues of women’s rights and gender equality, social inclusion, urban sustainability, urban environments, democratizing local governance, water and sanitation, and training and capacity building for close to twenty years. Her recent publications include A Training Package: Improving Gender Equality and Grassroots Participation through Good Land Governance and Gender in Local Government: A Sourcebook for Trainers.

Dr. Bashevkin’s speaks to the question – How do women transform cities? – and Ms. Khosla discusses gender equality and social inclusion in municipal policies and…

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Which street pattern represents your continent?

Munson's City

Northampton-01

When I was two years old, my family moved from the Bay Area to Northampton, Massachusetts. My earliest memories are from there and it is one of the three or four places I usually claim as my hometown.

My family loved Northampton, and even after moving away, we would make regular pilgrimages back every few summers or so. I really wasn’t sure what I liked so much about it until I went to urban design school, but now I know part of it was the organic street grid. Each block feels distinct, and the slight curves of the streets create outdoor rooms, while the density of the street network allows multiple ways to get to your destination.

Unfortunately, the organic street system, common in other parts of the world, is a rare thing in the US and Canada. I decided to take a look at the major cities of Anglo-America…

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International Building exhibition Hamburg

the Human City Project

IBA_EN-2013_aufeinenblick_EN-108p_web-1

The ongoing IBA, International Building exhibition, which started in March 2013 in Hamburg, is soon coming to an end (on the 7th of November). The building exhibition experiences this year with innovative architectural solutions for pressing problems of the urban community life, such as the growing diversity of its population, the low attractiveness of the city centre versus its suburbs, and the paradox of growth and sustainability in cities.

Focus Areas:

The International Building exhibition is investigating three major challenges of contemporary cities:

Under the term Cosmopolis the exhibition explores how ethnic and cultural diversity can be transformed into strengths through spatial interventions and participative conception of spaces.The projects reach from new educational facilities to art installations and participatory projects for kids. Whereas the promotion of local economies includes systematic measures reaching beyond employment initiatives in order to help the resident population gain qualifications, Art…

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UCS 008 Masterson-Algar on Ecuadorians in Madrid’s Retiro Park

UCS 008 Masterson-Algar on Ecuadorians in Madrid’s Retiro Park (8 October 2013)

Conversational interview inspired by scholar Araceli Masterson-Algar’s article “Juggling Aesthetics and Surveillance in Paradise: Ecuadorians in Madrid’s Retiro Park,” published in the International Journal of Iberian Studies (26.1-2, 2013). Mixing ethnography on the ground with Ecuadorian immigrants to Madrid with cultural analysis and discussion of urban planning, topics range from urban parks (the Retiro Park [the section known as La Chopera now home to the 11-M memorial and Forest of Memory], the Casa de Campo…) to Manuel Delgado’s urban anthropology and the dynamics of migration as tied to urban processes of tourism and capital accumulation. [LINK TO ORIGINAL PUBLISHER]