Sensibilities 2.7: Topophilia
Welcome back to Sensibilities! Here's some of the far-ranging resources, ideas, and inspirations that have been bouncing around in our heads this month, in the hopes that they pique your interest, jumpstart your creativity, or simply add a little intrigue to your day. Topophilia is, according to Collins Dictionary, "the love of or emotional connections with place or physical environment" -- happy exploring!
1 is the striking images of Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide, who has been making work consistently since the 1970s:
2 is If Cities Could Dance, a weekly series by Bay Area station KQED that explores gentrification, erasure, and reclaiming cultural space in eight different cities, all through local dancers and dance styles:
3 is the hundreds of cannabis social clubs in Barcelona that began as a way to exploit a legislative loophole and have grown into a thriving example of cooperative entrepreneurship:
4 is Pyongyang Elegance: Notes on Communism, a deceptively simple travelogue by digital performance artist Amalia Ulman about a 2015 trip to North Korea:
"It all started when my mother recommended I watch a Spanish TV documentary on Pyongyang. For the first time, I was exposed to the city’s private spaces—its hairstyles, its mirrored elevators and trinkets. I realized how much it resembled my artworks at the time: a combination between resilience and glitter, extreme poverty and Swarovski crystals.
"Then I learned that they welcomed tourists. It isn’t even that difficult to visit, as long as you’re not a journalist. It’s just very expensive. I looked at my bank account and decided that even though it was crazy, I had to make it happen. Instead of googling my zodiac compatibility with my new crush, I obsessed over images of the city, imagining myself in it. I watched videos of the DPRK compulsively before going to bed. Anything that I could find, I’d devour it. I read all the books on the topic that were published in the U.S. Slowly, Pyongyang became the location of all my dreams. It became a backdrop of scenes where all emotions get mingled and confused. There, I’d feel both terrified and calm. Darkness hid behind the pastels. For me Pyongyang was a feeling."