Challenging concepts of ‘liquid’ place, interrogating given discourses about place and mobility, are at the heart of this enquiry. The particular perspective on this field was summarised in the original application for funding the project:
Place is a live and critical topic outside and within the academy. Refugees, migrants, and second-generation citizens wrestle with reconciling ‘new’ and ‘old’ places. As Bauman suggests (2001), those who sense a threat to their security-of-place sometimes retaliate with entrenchment and territorialisation. Unhappiness and violence can result from dis-ease with place; lack of place (atopia) may lead to a desire for belonging. In the academy, ‘mobility’ is understood as iconic of contemporary existence in contrast to ‘traditional’ place, often defined as static, bounded and permanent. Geographical movements of people are seen to be a result of both choice (‘exterritorialism’) and enforcement (deterritorialisation), while dislocation is perceived as a negative result of such mobility.
Such assumptions about ‘traditional’ place and ‘contemporary’ mobility need further scrutiny. What is the reality of these claims? How do those who might be perceived as vulnerable or at risk in their locations actually perceive ‘place’? …
Discussions about ‘place’ recurred throughout the Half Moon project of course and are present in many of the clips of the project in the following sections. In reflecting upon the project, a number of writings about young people, place and space became increasingly relevant as is reflected in the analyses of the project in later sections.
Links below offer some relevant considerations of place that occurred during the project.
- Extracts from the original two-day intensive (July 2011) evidence discussions
about concepts of ‘place’ relating to the whole project. Whilst not specifically aimed
at urban youth, there are several interesting ideas here about how the research team and
community partners were thinking about ‘place’.
This edited clip includes reference to: Baumann’s use of ‘liquid’; a description of what Mackey means by ‘place’ and its performance and how such performance is informed by denizens; place as described by others. Others in the group respond, with Pearson talking of the importance of the fabric of place as well as the archaeological history of place, Elwell discussing the imagination of place, Orton’s privileging of geography over naming, Pearson commenting on the three-plans of Cardiff, Mackey talking of how places can be receptacles for conscience and Ames on community within the geography of place and ‘gift’ being at the heart of community.
July planning - discussion of place
- An article Mackey was writing was used to explore some ideas of temporary place at that opening event – although ‘temporary place’ decreased in importance during the Half Moon project. ‘Extract from Nest article’.
- Previous articulations and early theorising about the performance of place include
references to understandings of ‘place’ from Mackey’s Performing Place project, 2002-2004.
See ‘About Performing Place 1 and 2’ and ‘About Temporary Locations’ at:
- Prior to the July performances at Half Moon, audience members were asked how they perceive ‘place’. This audio clip brings together some interesting thoughts including: place as a physical safe place – Blackfriars Bridge – for a homeless person, a number of different places from which you form your identity, sometimes a negative e.g. ‘Know your place’. As well as yielding some interesting material on people’s understanding of place, the pre-performance interviews established the concept of place in minds before the production started. ‘Audience response to place’ audio file below.
- When the youth group were asked their thoughts on place in the first session, they responded and their ideas were typed immediately onto the screen in the studio. ‘Young people’s response to place’.
- In an early session exploring different types of place, the group were asked to express a brief moment of their ‘extraordinary places’. Andrew interpreted this as exceptionally ordinary or extra ordinary.
This moment in the work provoked further consideration of subverting the extra-ordinary, the mundane everyday.