Richmond’s Post-Industrial East End - a beautiful guidebook.
Click for a great short piece from The Atlantic’s “Cities” site about a public housing project that objected to their media representation, so residents commissioned a filmmaker to re-shoot establishing shots of their neighborhood to better represent the space. The commissioned film is beautifully done.
ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CS3 ONLY $89 !
Before those virile women!
I. Further Exploration of Spitsbergen
Toward the still dab of white that oscillates
And up there I cannot tell if it is still
Introduction by Vilhjalmur Stefansson
As if your absence now concluded long ago.
Sculpting each tree to…
Survivors of the very cold winter and of being rescue plants in the first place:
at least five grape vines
the fig tree
the pecan tree
two apple trees
two red buds
two blueberry bushes
a climbing rose bush
some rogue perennials
Commercial fantasies of rebellion, liberation, and outright “revolution” against the stultifying demands of mass society are commonplace almost to the point of invisibility in advertising, movies, and television programming. For some, Ken Kesey’s parti-colored bus may be a hideous reminder of national unraveling, but for Coca-Cola it seemed a perfect promotional instrument for its “Fruitopia” line.
Conquest of Cool. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.
I see you accidentally reblogging my chart then deleting it, vcuchs
Impressed by your initiative, looking forward to seeing the rest - will wait to reblog both charts until then. - “Thinking of going through and analyzing the cost of each thing that you can swipe for to determine how much aramark is actually getting out of students.” -proseposeur
That was four years ago. I knew something about redlining and the New Deal. But not really. I had not heard of Arnold Hirsch. I certainly had never heard of contract lending. I knew about the wealth gap, but not really. I knew that the ghetto was public policy, but I did not know the extent. (I still don’t totally. My knowledge about what happened on the South Side, for instance, is still lacking.)
I was grappling with the Civil War. I had some sense of Reconstruction. I had begun to grasp that slavery was not a side practice in America, but big business. I still (sort of) believed in “class-based” solutions, for racist problems. I hadn’t read Patrick Sharkey’s research into neighborhoods. I hadn’t grappled with Robert Sampson’s work on Chicago and the vast gulf that divides blacks and whites. I hadn’t read Walter Johnson’s work on the intrastate slave trade. I hadn’t thought about Rousseau’s sense of slavery as useful killing. I hadn’t read Isabel Wilkerson.
And I hadn’t thought at all about what any of this meant for humanity.
Have you visited Poictesme’s new website? We’re really excited to be our own domain name for the first time in our history. Big thanks to our designer, Kristen Rebelo, for creating our new logo, paying homage to James Branch Cabell’s signature eye glasses. And best of all, our space is add free.
After each interview he had the recordings transcribed. Then he sent the transcripts, without the interviewee’s name attached, by encrypted email to Mr. Moloney, who had moved to New York soon after the project began. Mr. Moloney gave him directions for follow-up interviews: Ask this, double-check that, dig deeper there. It was not unusual for Mr. McIntyre to spend 10 or more hours with one person. Before he turned on his tape recorder, he asked people to think carefully about what they would like to talk about and what they’d prefer not to discuss.
He kept no recordings or transcripts in his home any longer than he had to. He sent them by mail to Mr. O’Neill, who put them under lock and key in Boston College’s Burns Library. The contracts with interviewees—known as “donor contracts” and containing the code to identify the anonymized tapes—were hand-delivered to Mr. O’Neill during his trips to Belfast.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a very interesting piece up about Boston College’s oral histories of the IRA and of violence in Belfast.
There are many valuable questions raised by the project, and by the years of sectarian violence centered in Northern Ireland. Oral history projects like this one offer us some ground on which to explore the role violence has in effecting social change. Incredibly conflicting research has been done in both social justice and peace advocacy movements exploring the range of positions on the issue of violence. This article recognizes quite rightly that it can be impossible (and in fact unethical) to explore violence or peace through the lens of the other.
The more remarkable question here might be one of academic practice, which I think has widespread consequences outside academia:
Some universities have concluded that oral-history projects should be subject to review by institutional review boards, or IRBs, in the same way as scientific research on human subjects, a view that troubles oral historians. (Boston College now requires IRB review if oral-history archives are to be made public, but the Belfast Project began before those protocols were in place.)
Though it’s not yet common practice, it seems unthinkable that oral history projects anywhere are not subject to IRB approval. This is tied, I suspect, to the long-running prejudice that supposes humanities projects to be more abstract than research done in the hard sciences, and thus less able to lead to real or damaging consequences on their participants. It’s a dangerous assumption, the outcomes of which can be seen clearly here where documentation leads to judicial inquiry.
What happens when we document the actions of war? How can we create a space where it is possible to truly understand what occurs in periods of intense violence? How do we even understand what a war crime might be outside the actual context in which it occurred?*
If we know anything from the criminal justice system, it is this: framing discussions of violence with judicial outcomes leads to unreliable reporting from participants. Prosecutors seek testimony to secure convictions, and in doing so trade in reduced sentences. People avoiding incarceration are incentivized to tell the stories that best benefit them, not accuracy. Incarcerated people are encouraged to follow the same pattern, trading information for privilegesin a way that consistently prioritizes survival over any kind of accuracy. The full reach of our judicial system in the US relies on testimony as a kind of currency, not as a path to truth.
Oral histories of violence, if they hope to understand the true functions of violence, need to restructure reportage outside the judicial system if they have any hope to really understand the experiences of survivors. These projects might find partners in restorative and unitive justice programs, which hold participants accountable outside the framework of a judicial system that itself relies heavily on violence.
You can read the Chronicle’s article on the archive here. It’s fascinating and incredibly distressing. One thing is clear: while the events in Belfast continue to impact participants, their families, and their survivors the oral history has had its own reverberating impact. It’s a narrative of cause and effect that is evolving within and alongside the unfolding story of violence in the north.
*To be clear: I’m not about to suggest that acts of violence are less damaging or excusable in the context of war, only that we seem to have agreed socially that violence in the context of war is somehow different, but it’s not clear how we can understand that difference outside the very context that redefines it.
An interesting note from the collection’s home page:
Many of these activities are documented in this collection of images. A large number of the original black and white photographs were taken by J.D. Crute, an amateur photographer hired by the Farmville Police Department, under the supervision of Police Chief Otto Smith Overton, who served 42 years before retiring in 1996. These photographs were intended to be used in court proceedings as evidence against any protesters who were arrested. Currently the originals are in a private collection.*
It’s interesting to see a collection of images that were created with the intent of criminalizing their subjects, but are now used to document the participants’ heroism. In spite of that intent, the photographer’s work is still seen as service.
Photos, from top left:
Boycott for Freedom. Protesters outside Safeway, Farmville, Va. August 1963. VCU Libraries Digital Collections. TIFF File.
Students seated at lunch counter, Farmville, Va. July 1963. VCU Libraries Digital Collections. TIFF File.
Police rope off protest area near First Baptist Church, Farmville, Va. August 1963. VCU Libraries Digital Collections. TIFF File.
Protesters gather near side of State Theater, Farmville, Va., July 1963. VCU Libraries Digital Collections. TIFF File.
Students and adults gathered outside Free School No.2 (Mary E. Branch School) for registration, Farmville, Va., n.d. VCU Libraries Digital Collections. TIFF File.
Protesters outside College Shoppe, Main St., Farmville, Va., July 1963. VCU Libraries Digital Collections. TIFF File.
*Emphasis my own.