I posted this link as it pertains to the article we read this week. When I was reading this article, I thought of something. Protesting in the nude attracts the attention of many individuals (since it is not a common activity to walk around in the nude) and therefore interests people in the issue that is protested about. These nudist protesters are illustrating feminist issues pertaining to religion and sex. It’s quite unfair to read about women being persecuted for their gender and beliefs. Reading this article gives perspective of the different cultures in beliefs in the world, and how they differ.
“Nostalgia notwithstanding, history illustrates that public space is, and has been, the site where conflicts of morality and social values have often been launched” (Malone, 2002, 160). It’s true. Being open to a variety of different cultures, personalities, and activities, there is bound to be some type of conflict within a public space. Although when reading this week’s article, I never pictured this kind of conflict.
Being in the nude. It’s a strange concept to the majority of people, as we are taught to always be clothed. But who says the minority can’t go nude if they want to?
It is quite hypocritical to me that authorities will not allow regular people to walk in the nude in a designated area, but for certain female artists to go up on stage, almost in the nude, and “flaunt what they’ve got.” I mean honestly, I’m not trying to hate on any female performers, but sometimes they take it to a new level. Nude places are generally regulated and they are specific designated areas. If a parent does not want their child to see anything, they can refrain from entering that area. Parents will not allow that, and yes I understand I wouldn’t either, but then they take their children to a Lady Gaga or Britney Spears concert…
Although from each article, Malone’s argument really stuck with me. “Youth have different cultural values, understandings and needs- differences that should be supported and valued as significant contributions to the social capital of cities and towns” (Malone, 2002, 157). Not all children have the ability to pursue their life goals and dreams in the conditions they live in. If the city governments provided these children with more YMCA-type of social places, these unfortunate children would have a positive influence of the people that work there and volunteer. With the present day split in social class and economic struggle, children and teens cannot always afford to attend certain events and places. This refrain from extracurricular activities can take away opportunities for youth.
Going back to the nudity. America is much more conservative than Europe. Both of my parents grew up in Europe and I have been there numerous amount of times, so I can compare. In Europe, people are classy and conservative in some aspects, but very open to others. As seen in Hubbard’s article, European cities have had “naked protests to demonstrate the sexualization of public spaces” (Hubbard, 2012, 104). Europe is conservative to sexual orientation because of religious aspects and history, but it’s not America that has nude beaches.
Overall, I think that public sexualization depends on the people in a particular area.
Malone, K. 2002. Street life: youth, culture and competing uses of public space. Environment
and Urbanization, 21, 89-107
Dress codes are quite strict in many institutions. Normally, there is a unwritten dress code when it comes to many different events. For example, class attire could be casual, but many people dress in a very proper and formal way. When it comes to your physical appearance, how much restrictions should authority be able to place? This article focuses on a girl who has her rights taken away through her hair colour. Is this taking away from her freedom of expression?
In our wandering around campus what was noteworthy was actually the absence of outdoor activities, to the point that walking itself was the only relevant activity being performed. That and smoking. We started feeling hopeless but suddenly on our way back we noticed a little bunch with what looked like a tripod at the other side of the intersection of St. George St. and Harbord St.; they were students like ourselves taking pictures for a class project. Although we were lucky enough to eventually find someone, we couldn’t help but think that they were probably being forced (to be) outside against their will, as one of the students repeatedly said that they were rushing inside as soon as they had finished taking photos of the moose sculpture. Therefore cold climate really seems to be a deterrent for spending time outdoors; most people refrain from staying outside and decide instead to adapt, according to their different needs to the place that best suit them; creating that lively mosaic (of activities) that is typical of indoor places during this season. (this last sentence refers to what you or Echo wrote about the variety of indoor activities, like at Sidney Smith for example).
Winter and the time of day was definitely the determining factor in the population of an area. Places that are normally filled in the warmer months were completely deserted. As a group, we came to the conclusion that because it was midday, a lot of classes were taking place, and therefore there was a limited amount of activity. Also, due to the overwhelming rise in temperature (especially that particular day), people refrained from outdoor activity. The weather conditions make changes to the way people interact throughout the year. At some points of the year, a person is limited to the activities they can do. For example, you can’t swim outside at negative temperatures. Well you can, but I don’t recommend it. First of all, the water would be solidified into ice -so tough luck. Because the areas we checked are mainly part of the school campus, there will be very similar activities, as students normally partake in similar daily routines.
Social activity is hard to measure when you do not know what you are looking for.
1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – This novel contains issues of racial discrimination. In 2011, The Help was made into a successful film. Both the novel and film illustrated the importance of race equality.
2. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett- The story of young Sara is quite inspirational. This novel demonstrates the visible difference in the lives of the wealthy and poor. And the moral? Do not judge a book by it’s cover.
3. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss – This magnificent children’s story, also made into a popular film, tells the tale of environment destruction. The plot shows the greedy side of corporate companies, and the destruction of our natural environment. Protests are displayed by the majority, but that does not help.
4. No Logo by Naomi Klein – An excellent book covering every economic social injustice in the world, from sweatshops to the market dominance of large corporate companies. This book is quite the read, and provides insight on issues in the global market.
5. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anna Frank – This is a non fictional publication of the journal entries made by Anne Frank as her family hid from the Nazi occupation in Europe. Religious discrimination is the main social justice theme.
I wanted to post this article because it upset me. To think that people would want to change to historic Exhibition Place, and turn it into yet another capitalist, ideal, money-making place. I feel it is completely unjust for mayors of large cities to make decision such as this themselves. The people of Toronto should have a large say in what stays and what goes…
I will always remember reading about bird walkers after reading this article. Why? Bird walking is not a concept we are familiar with in North America, and I’m not going to lie, I found it strange.
Dancing in the streets of Beijing displays cultural characteristics of a society that is quite dominant in the economic market, but whose diverse culture is unfamiliar to most . For instance, yangge dancing was non-existent to me prior to this article. Caroline Chen did a phenomenal job displaying parts of the traditional Chinese cultural, while familiarizing the reading audience with the loss of space for recreational activities.
“Unscripted and ubiquitous, grassroots dancing in the streets reveals the tensions between how the modern city is imagined and constructed, and how the real city is remade, fitted, and lived” (Chen, 2010, 33). The yangge dancers of Beijing reveal to the world how public spaces be accustomed to various activities and recreation within a city. In North America, people are not as demonstrative, and they use parks and recreational areas according to general rule. Not to say I completely agree with using public space to each person’s own liking, I can argue that turning public spaces into personal performance centres can cause great distress and issues amongst a society. There will never be a general consensus as to how the public centre should be used within a society. The yangee dancers can definitely be irritating as their early morning rituals includes loud, live percussion (Chen, 2010). On the other hand, yangge dancers promote the culture and history of China. Public space, as we already established, is a tricky thing to deal with.
Social justice is the main factor of the decisions to a large public area. Any restrictions would cause someone to have their freedom/rights taken away, but no restrictions on public places would cause chaos.
Reading this article made me realize that social justice issues come in all forms and deal with many different types of people. With the shortage of public areas, the yangge dancers have nowhere to go. They can’t practice close to their homes due to noise complaints, and travelling far distances is inconvenient with their lifestyles (Chen, 2010).
The Chinese government seemed to promote the yangge dancers with the development of the “new” yangge dance, so I wonder, why won’t they create a designated public space? I have a feeling money is a factor.
Living in the suburbs, I’ve never really dealt with a loss of public space. There are plenty of parks and recreational places in my neighbourhood for people to enjoy. But, what I didn’t realize until now, is that those places are only for the people in my neighbourhood to enjoy. In other words there aren’t very public at all. The parks are typically in the centre of a survey of houses, enclosed, and quite unattainable to the public. Since it’s a quaint neighbourhood, any loud noise or disruption would immediately have a great amount of complaints. On the other hand, nearby in Burlington, there is a park called Spencer Smith – home to the Sound of Music Festival and Rib Fest. Spencer Smith Park, for as long as I can remember, has been an extremely culturally diverse and active space. For me, this is a perfect combination. If you want to relax, you go to your local park; if you want entertainment, you go to Spencer Smith. But as with everything, there is an issue: you have to drive to get there.
So do we get a happy medium with public spaces?
If it doesn’t bother tourists to see acts on the streets, why does it bother people to have cultural displays in a designated public space?
Chen, C. 2010. Dancing in the streets of Beijing:improvised uses within the urban system in Hou, J. (ed)
Insurgent Public Space. New York: Routledge, 21-35.