“Fuck gentrification” is the new “fuck the man”: the desirability of undesirable punk space

(upcoming September 2017)

Presenting at: 1st International Conference of Anarchist Geographies and Geographers (ICAGG) Reggio Emilia, Italy

Urban planning as it formalized throughout the twentieth century offers a particular relationship and conceptual continuity between the social, spatial, and political that structure the relationships between people, space, and institutions and connects city-making with both place-making and citizen-making. But the city-making project of planning has a “darkside”; one that draws a line between desirable and undesirable people, and between desirable and undesirable spaces. Planning becomes plagued by contradictions and conflicts, both internally and externally, as it tries to reconcile its progressive role and utopian vision with the capitalistic, liberal and democratic systems under which it was formed and continues to operate. The internal inconsistencies are frequently exacerbated to the level of crisis when planning is further confronted with the seeming irreconcilability with another significant part of its ontological heritage—the moral and ethical imperative to act in the public interest. Continue reading ““Fuck gentrification” is the new “fuck the man”: the desirability of undesirable punk space”

Making space for messy urbanisms: in and out of the public eye

(upcoming September 2017)

Presenting at: European Geographies of Sexualities, Barcelona

City-building is only partially the result of urban planning and the story of the city is only partially narrated by urban planners and the public they plan for. A variety of dissident and dissonant voices, experiences, and actions exist and participate in making and remaking the city. Admitting these voices, admits that the city project is messy, incoherent, conflictual, and contested. I consider these voices non-publics; “non” because of the way their interests have been left out of—and frequently conflict with—the public interest that underlies the normative city-building project of traditional urban planning. Yet, non-publics have developed rich tactical traditions for making both space and place for themselves in the city. In my research, I mobilize admittedly contested intersections between feminist, queer, diaspora, and subculture to guide us towards “messy” analyses of these spatial tactics and traditions. Continue reading “Making space for messy urbanisms: in and out of the public eye”

Fattal fest: Be fucking respectful aight

A local punk festival is coming up and the Facebook event page has more than a few gems that hint at why I find punk space so interesting.

This is from the event description:

fattalfest

Unlike pouzzafest—MTL’s more formal (but still awesome) punk festival earlier in the summer—I take it fattal fest maybe takes the attitude of “fuck the permits and red tape”. But lack of respect for officially regulated permission to use space is not to be confused with disrespect for using space or others in neighbouring space. be fucking respectful aight!?!?!?! This killer combo of unapologetically irreverent but deeply considerate is a quality I’ve noticed in these spaces and among many of the people I’ve met therein.

Here’s a comment posted by the host:

secretlocation

For unofficial venues, there’s such a lovely contradiction between publicizing shows and keeping them secret (to officials and outsiders, at least). It really is a quintessential case of hidden in plain sight and visible-invisible. The event location is simply listed as fattal@fattal—either you know where that is or you know someone who can tell you. but SVP ask in private. It’s not a well guarded secret but it does roughly in very broad strokes define who is invited.