Monday, January 24, 2011

Taking it to/from the Streets...

Welcome to my Blog. It was just a matter of time, I suppose...

Many of the kind folks I have met over the past 2 years or so while stalking legal (and not so legal) graffiti walls with my camera have asked me "what do you do exactly?" This blog comes about in part to provide these nice folk with an answer, although a partial one. I like to play guitar in a substandard fashion. I get paid to trouble people's assumptions about moral order, authority and hopefully inspire some thoughts about social change and rock & roll.

This blog is a place for me to 'think out loud' about graffiti in Ottawa. I am currently researching the social history of graffiti in this concrete coloured town. I look forward to sharing critical observations about how the city attempts to 'manage' graffiti in particular.

That being said, please know that I am not a lawyer, nor should my reflections about such things as municipal policies be taken as legal advice by anyone. I am  a cultural critic who got her PhD by analyzing the crime drama CSI.

While I like to think of myself as an advocate on behalf of local writers (through text and less-than-professional photography), I do not intend to even suggest that I could ever speak FOR the many unique individuals who make up this complex and vibrant community.I only intend to encourage others outside of the community to think differently about graffiti and those who take boring urban spaces and make 'em sing.

One thing that I WONT be doing on this blog: giving out the coordinates of local writing sites. 

Why not?

It's hard enough being a writer in a capital city that seems to buy into the idea that "boring/grey walls = the appearance of security" and I don't intend to make it harder for writers by revealing such places to those who like to buff. You know who you are...

I will be posting photos I've taken of writing that has inspired my thinking on this topic, crediting writers when I can (feel free to correct me when I get em wrong, folks!). This is a kind of visual sociology without the peer-review process I suppose. This blog is also a testament to research as a dialectic process: my research is shaped by the people I meet, the places I've been and the culture in which this all takes place.

I'll try to remain relevant and post often enough to keep those of you who are kind enough to 'tune in' mildly interested.

Until next post...

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