Postcolonialism and ecology in the work of Tim Robinson
, therefore, to privilege a medley of representationalist engagements with the physical exteriorities of place.Yet,
as vexed debates within ecocriticism testify, recourse to signification is not always
seen as inevitable and often adjudged to be entirely anthropocentric.
In this light, Ryden subsequently tempers the apparent representationalism
of his earlier point by disaggregating factual records of place from the living processes of these locations. Again he refers to the essayist of place, whose task it is to
go ‘beyond the facts of place to emphasize the life of place
, fallibilism and experiential learning provides a necessary counterpoint to agonistic theory, pointing scholars towards more generative ways of thinking about difference in democratic life. For Dewey, engagement across difference is important because it provides experiences that help people to test and revise their assumptions about the world; people learn from the experience of negotiating conflicting ideas and values and this in turn produces new political opportunities. A scholarly focus on contextualised experience surfaces concerns that preoccupy political participants
involvement in mundane volunteer
groups such as ‘bird-watching societies and soccer clubs leads to a high
level of civic engagement, democratic politics and high-quality government performance’ (Levi 1996: 47–8).2
Such interpretations of social capital theory do attempt to resolve the
traditional understandings of the ‘dilemma of collective action’ that questions why individuals would invest in group activity which might not
immediately benefit them, using an economic understanding of rewards
received. In contrast, social movement perspectives of participation are
people. In a world of collapsing distances and
faster, more wide-ranging travel, Robinson’s works in map and text illustrate the
potential in ‘slow’ landscapes where his ‘twisty journey’ on foot and bicycle has
permitted a more intimate engagement with nature, environment and community.
Although Robinson has resisted being labelled (‘environmentalist’ or ‘cartographer’), much of his work reflects trends in geographical thinking on landscape
over the past half century. Robinson is a geographer by instinct, if not by training.
Geographers have approached the study of
my observations on A Machine To See With , I identified three distinct modes of participation that are not mutually exclusive: play (defined by game-like, immersive and task-oriented participation; exploration (defined by reflective and emotional engagement with the city through the narrative); and critique (defined by the desire to understand the mechanics of the narrative). These patterns did not refer to the level of introversion or extroversion of the participant, but to different modes of translating the artistic narrative and of engaging with the performance
A pragmatist responds to epistemic and other kinds of frictions in the academy
doubt does not refer to the existence of a reality apart from our thoughts but springs from experiences that do not yield to our analyses and actions in practice. Real doubt is specific and context dependent (Peirce, 1877 ) . It brings us up short in our engagement with the world. Acts of resistance that bring into question received epistemologies aim to provoke real doubt. Both doubt and belief prompt us to engage with a wider community in inquiring into how to bring about successful action. The conversation I seek with a broader community is motivated by
transform the former exclusive character of urban spaces into spaces which are the containers of new, ‘mobile’ (Kochan, 2019 ) and deterritorialised forms of belonging and acting in urban China, making a new form of migrants’ citizenship. These forms of citizenship are certainly different from the legally defined hukou status or acculturation to ‘urban citizenship’ promoted in the state vision of ‘integration into the city’. They instead promote migrants’ active engagement with city resources despite their exclusion from various rights of citizenship, telluric
It is increasingly clear that, alongside the spectacular forms of justice activism, the actually existing just city results from different everyday practices of performative politics that produce transformative trajectories and alternative realities in response to particular injustices in situated contexts. The massive diffusion of urban gardening practices (including allotments, community gardens, guerrilla gardening and the multiple, inventive forms of gardening the city) deserve special attention as experiential learning and in-becoming responses to spatial politics, able to articulate different forms of power and resistance to the current state of unequal distribution of benefits and burdens in the urban space. While advancing their socio-environmental claims, urban gardeners make evident that the physical disposition of living beings and non-living things can both determine and perpetuate injustices or create justice spaces. In so doing, urban gardeners question the inequality-biased structuring and functioning of social formations (most notably urban deprivation, lack of public decision and engagement, and marginalisation processes); and conversely create (or allow the creation of) spaces of justice in contemporary cities. This book presents a selection of contributions investigating the possibility and capability of urban gardeners to effectively tackle spatial injustice; and it offers the readers sound, theoretically grounded reflections on the topic. Building upon on-the-field experiences in European cities, it presents a wide range of engaged scholarly researches that investigate whether, how and to what extent urban gardening is able to contrast inequalities and disparities in living conditions.
This book explores contemporary urban experiences connected to practices of sharing and collaboration. Part of a growing discussion on the cultural meaning and the politics of urban commons, it uses examples from Europe and Latin America to support the view that a world of mutual support and urban solidarity is emerging today in, against, and beyond existing societies of inequality. In such a world, people experience the potentialities of emancipation activated by concrete forms of space commoning. By focusing on concrete collective experiences of urban space appropriation and participatory design experiments this book traces differing, but potentially compatible, trajectories through which common space (or space-as-commons) becomes an important factor in social change. In the everydayness of self-organized neighborhoods, in the struggles for justice in occupied public spaces, in the emergence of “territories in resistance,” and in dissident artistic practices of collaborative creation, collective inventiveness produces fragments of an emancipated society.
Manchester: Something rich and strange challenges us to see the quintessential
post-industrial city in new ways. Bringing together twenty-three diverse writers
and a wide range of photographs of Greater Manchester, it argues that how we see
the city can have a powerful effect on its future – an urgent question given how
quickly the urban core is being transformed. The book uses sixty different words
to speak about the diversity of what we think of as Manchester – whether the
chimneys of its old mills, the cobbles mostly hidden under the tarmac, the
passages between terraces, or the everyday act of washing clothes in a
laundrette. Unashamedly down to earth in its focus, this book makes the case for
a renewed imaginative relationship that recognises and champions the fact that
we’re all active in the making and unmaking of urban spaces.