Schlemihls and buffoons: the spatial-political margins of punks and pariahs in the city

Presented at: Philosophy of the City, San Francisco CA

Abstract: Like many “undesirables” in the history of cities, punks find themselves regularly forced to adapt to shifting physical and political environments or relocate to increasingly marginal spaces in the city. The freedom to transform spaces that exist outside the mainstream scope that might otherwise enforce prohibitive zoning and other normative regulatory structures, also makes these spaces vulnerable to absorption by the system they seek to escape. While the punk scene in Ottawa, Canada—like many cities—is strongly anchored to physical spaces such as music venues, the tendency to occupy off-the-radar (i.e. cheaper and less regulated) spaces make them susceptible to social and economic changes that affect the desirability of different spaces throughout the city. Continue reading “Schlemihls and buffoons: the spatial-political margins of punks and pariahs in the city”

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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.