Explorations in public space in Washington, DC: The commentary
The following is the commentary related to the previous post.
I felt greatly restricted in what I did around L’enfant plaza. It was neither the low-tech attempts at making spaces unsittable observed by William Whyte, nor the more advances deterrence as observed in Los Angeles by Mike Davis. Rather, if my own feelings about the space are typical, then it is a far more subtle way the use of the space comes to be in practice restricted.
The seating wasn’t great, so I wanted to do things other than sit up there, but I didn’t really feel like I could. Firstly, the idea that there was remote security breathing about my neck from the frequent signs. This is likely the intention; regulating behaviour through implanting the idea of “you are being watched”. Secondly, nowhere felt like it was for human use, but rather for looking pretty; the same was true of the space I found at Foggy Bottom.
Explorations in public space in Washington, DC.
The following is part of the portfolio assessment of GEOG3210. It is also of some general interest, I hope. This piece of work was intended as group work, involving interventions and interviews and the like, but by the time I was done being too mental to do anything, I’d missed the boat on that. So what I did was an exploration and commentary in the part of the world I was at the time.
So one hot, summer day in Maryland, I decided to go over DC, to do some exploration of public space. My focus was mobility, accessibility and rest. There are certain things that in doing so privileged my access to public space. Firstly in being able bodied. Secondly, in being white, and appearing adequately middle class, and therefore appearing pretty non-threatening to the powers that be. So, my personal experience is just that, personal experience, and it may well prove significantly better than that of others.
Anyway, I decided to take a randomised trip, using dice rolls (there was one, so it should be a die, but no one says that any more) through DC, using the metro. The rules went like this:
This is the most singularly brilliant and relevant image that I’ve ever seen. I need to carry one of these from now on.
Though male privilege means that I won’t fill it up nearly as quickly as a lot of my friends. …Which means that as a male bodied person, it’s actually more difficult for me to win the game. Which means there’s a sphere of life in which I’m likely to be less successful than others. Which means I’m OPPRESSED. Which means SEXISM IS OVER and FEMINISM HAS GONE TOO FAR which means I NEED COOKIES, AND FAST.
Oh god, I have so much to say about this, but I have an essay to finish, so later.
I love social justice bingo cards
Never not reblog; always relevant.
I have band practice for the next couple of “Manning Mondays,” so I won’t be around to personally troll the Brecht Forum as they continually misgender Breanna Manning. But I CAN troll them on Twitter.
Suzy X: Right as always.