Cultural Geography
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Cultural Geography
Historical, Cultural and Social Issues of place and space
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Burning Man

This annual arts festival with a strong counter-cultural ethos literally is an experiment in producing alternative urban and cultural geographies that reject normative regulations embedded within societies.  These geographies created last only about a week, as an escape from the regular strictures of society.  The ephemeral alternative geographies then fade back into the desert but not without creating a visually remarkable place.  A word of caution, it is a 'clothing-optional' event, so launching a Google image search live in class is not recommened.


I'll let the producer of the video explain: "It is an 8-day event which takes place annually in late August in the temporary city of Black Rock City located in a dry lakebed in northwestern Nevada, USA.  The radial streets are laid out like a clock face, from 2:00 to 10:00. I have marked some of these streets as well as some of the prominent and favorite theme camps and villages.  The attendees are all participants in a sense and are themselves the attraction. There is no corporate sponsorship or presence of any sort. Only ice and coffee are sold. Everything else is brought in under the concept of 'radical self-reliance' or gifted by others. Most 'burners' participate by finding the creative or artistic thing that they enjoy most and do best, do it to the fullest extent, and share it as much as possible."


Tags: art, culture, unit 3 culture, popular culture

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Nicholas Rose's comment, December 6, 2012 11:40 AM
Well, when I think of this festival called Burning Man it seems to violate the social norms that we have as a society. As for the previous video we saw, people can get seriously hurt at a festival like this especially at Woodstock in which that festival's been going on for years.
Rescooped by Seth Dixon from Geography Education
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"Political Landscapes"

"Political Landscapes" | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

While touring Kevin Babola's art studio yesterday, I found this thought-provoking piece entitled ‘Political Landscapes.’ I greatly enjoyed my conversation with the artist about the political, economic and urban visions that went into this painting.  The conceptual idea behind this painting started when the artist was exploring the neighborhoods of New Bedford, MA and noticed how a sense of place can change very quickly. I dare say most cities have areas similar to the one portrayed here where the socioeconomic character changes very abruptly. While physically it might be very easy to cross from the side of the street with tenements to the neighborhood with single family homes, making that transition permanent is incredibly difficult.

 

Questions to ponder: what leads to cities having abrupt changes in the urban fabric? What might this chasm represent to people on either side of the divide? How does this impact the neighborhood institutions (schools, local government, etc.)?  Please visit the artist's webpage at: http://www.kbolaillustration.com

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 16, 2013 1:03 PM

While touring Kevin Babola's art studio yesterday, I found this thought-provoking piece entitled ‘Political Landscapes.’ I greatly enjoyed my conversation with the artist about the political, economic and urban visions that went into this painting.  The conceptual idea behind this painting started when the artist was exploring the neighborhoods of New Bedford, MA and noticed how a sense of place can change very quickly. I dare say most cities have areas similar to the one portrayed here where the socioeconomic character changes very abruptly. While physically it might be very easy to cross from the side of the street with tenements to the neighborhood with single family homes, making that transition permanent is incredibly difficult.

 

Questions to ponder: what leads to cities having abrupt changes in the urban fabric? What might this chasm represent to people on either side of the divide? How does this impact the neighborhood institutions (schools, local government, etc.)?  Please visit the artist's webpage at: http://www.kbolaillustration.com

Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 8:41 AM
this picture meant a lot to me simple due to the fact that I've lived in the city of providence for the last three years now. everywhere I look in the city shows an identical view to this picture that protrays inner-city compact houses vs grass and space of the kind of suburbs. on the right is the inner-city version where houses are only separated by a one car width driveway and are two to three stores high to accommadate more families and people. the left side of the picture protrays a more suburb area of the city. but this area isn't necessarily the suburbs because it would be an area just minute outside of the busy city center like a north providence or east providence area. in north providence yes you technically have a yard and grass but it is so small that you mine as well have scissors to cut the lawn. with a bite more space houses being more single family oriented this is more luxurious than the left side of the picture
Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 1:27 PM

This pictures shows the difference between the city and suburbs. Even in the same city, you can  have some parts that look more economically wealthier. But looking at it from a political view, I would guess that the whole in the ground that divides the two neighborhoods would be the line that divides democrats and republicans. City folk tend to vote more democrat because they want the government to assist the people. WHile Republicans tend to look out more for themselves.