'The Picture in my Head is my Reward'* The Mental Mapping of a Queer Urban Perspective

Goedele De Caluwé, Marion Wasserbauer

Abstract


Urban space is a productive force reflecting and affecting human interaction both with other humans and with their environment (Lefebvre). Traditionally the urban scheme is envisioned to control and order ‘nature’ and social interaction, and to sustain the power of a dominant group (Foucault). Yet due to the complexity of the post-capitalist city, this urban realm is not a smooth surface. Sometimes temporary cracks form, where space is opened up for creating alternative orderings (Hetherington 40). Because of their ambivalence, these spaces do not clearly belong to anyone, and can easily be claimed. It is this type of place that queers and other minority groups have often repurposed and appropriated to their needs. With our photographs we hope to visualize these fragments in the urban environment, where the imposed order suddenly stops, and where organic (over-) growth takes over. Here nature reclaims temporarily unused urban space and thus disrupts the idea of a human-constructed and human-controlled landscape and the idea of ‘city’ in a dualistic relation with ‘nature.’ In this sense, our photographs represent a queer version of urban typologies like ‘park’ or ‘garden’.


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MANAGING EDITORS   Sarah Iannicello, Benjamin J. Kapron

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UNDERCURRENTS EDITORIAL COLLECTIVE - VOL. 20 (2017): ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

VOL 20 CFP PRIMARY AUTHOR   Ronak Ghorbani Nejad

SCHOLARLY REVIEW TEAM   James Arruda, Nicole Beuglet, Julie Chamberlain, Aadita Chaudhury, Amanda Di Battista, Kesha Fevrier, Sarah Iannicello, Adam Linnard, Jessica Lukawiecki, Jacob McLean, Michaela McMahon, Indra Singh

CREATIVE REVIEW TEAM   Nicole Beuglet, Amanda Di Battista, Sarah Iannicello, Morgan Johnson, Kelly King, Andrew Mark, Eva Mencin, Indra Singh

COPY EDITORS   Sarah Iannicello, Benjamin J. Kapron, Rachel Lam, Anthony Sandre

LAYOUT AND DESIGN   Benjamin J. Kapron, Kelly King, Scott Lillico, Max Meyer

GRADUATE ASSISTANTS   Sarah Iannicello, Adam Linnard, Jessica Lukawiecki, Jacob McLean

TREASURER   Jeffrey Zavala

PRINTER   York University Printing Services, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto ON  M3J 1P3 printing@yorku.ca

FUNDING SUPPORT   Faculty of Environmental Studies (York University), PhD Environmental Studies Student Association

SPECIAL THANKS TO   Nina de Jesus, Amanda Di Battista, Ruben Esguerra, Steve Glassman, Darren Patrick, Lily Piccone, Dr. Catriona Sandilands, and Dr. Peter Timmerman

COVER ARTWORK   Kokila Bhattacharya