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STREET SMART: URBAN INFORMALITY AND MARGINALITY

"I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow human." ~Sun Bear (Chippewa Tribe)

A blog documenting aspects of a phenomenological study of Roma ghettoisation. Fieldwork for this research is currently being conducted in the Fakulteta quarter, Sofia, Bulgaria
+ other matters related to the field of urban studies

#phenomenology #action research #urban marginality #mindful inquiry #urban informality #social architecture #Roma housing #visual multimedia research methods #urban planning

PhD candidate Planning and Building
University of South Australia

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"They would be… people who jump to conclusions or don’t have any patience and always want to do things right now and that they would be very impatient."

"Once long ago, van den Berg told me a story that I still remember for its deep wisdom. He was traveling in a car with a noted phenomenological philosopher who was speaking profoundly about the issues of phenomenology. It began to snow and van den Berg, captured by the change in the landscape, pointed out the beauty of the scene to his companion. The companion took one quick glance and continued with his oration. Van den Berg was not judging the companion; he was only drawing a contrast between the philosopher who returns to the world via mind and idea and the psychologist who returns to it via the things themselves, via their naked appeals. In this, van den Berg is the psychologist who draws near to the world, who allows himself to be seduced by the epiphanies of the world and who in this proximity to things draws close to the poet."

~ Sunday morning reading… This striking recalling of…

Romanyshyn, RD 2008, Journeying with Van den Berg in Janus Head, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 397-414.

"Even the most subtle poem destroys what it names. For this reason, Blanchot (1982) said that the perfect book would have no words. The perfect book would be “blank,” as it tries to preserve what it can only destroy if it tried to represent it in language (see Nordholt, 1997). Perhaps this is why writing can be so difficult. The author becomes tacitly aware that language annihilates or “kills” whatever it touches. The result is the terrible realization that one has nothing to say. There is nothing to say, or, rather, it is impossible to truly “say” something. The writer desires to capture meaning in words, but the words constantly substitute themselves, destroy the things that they are meant to evoke. There are no “things”—only evocations, nothings."

~ van Manen, M 2006, Writing Qualitatively, or the Demands of Writing in Qualitative Health Research, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 713-722.
And I read this paper to get perspective on my writing… ;)
VIGNETTE #OPEN LISTENING Part 2
Epiphanies in research. They have incredible ways of arriving, of knowing when and how to arrive into the heart, soul, life of a person. In seemingly mundane moments, as the world unfolds without certainty of anything except of its unfolding, hollow moments, momentary exile. They come in waking, dreaming, however one defines either of these spaces-states. For sure, they speak to you, with clarity and authentic kindness; empathy. Another breakthrough towards being my own version of ‘firebrand’.

VIGNETTE #OPEN LISTENING Part 2

Epiphanies in research. They have incredible ways of arriving, of knowing when and how to arrive into the heart, soul, life of a person. In seemingly mundane moments, as the world unfolds without certainty of anything except of its unfolding, hollow moments, momentary exile. They come in waking, dreaming, however one defines either of these spaces-states. For sure, they speak to you, with clarity and authentic kindness; empathy. Another breakthrough towards being my own version of ‘firebrand’.

"I saw that only through intimate contact with ourselves does intimate contact with others make any sense at all, that only authentic and fundamental contacts with others can give meaning to the privacy and solitude of one’s own life. I realized too that virtually everything that matters relevant to being and relating must include both self and others and that paradoxically I am more free to be myself when you are free to be yourself. I am free to be with you when you are free to be with me. Thus, freedom of being depends on relationship and relationship requires freedom of being."

~ Clark E. Moustakas, From the Forward in his doctoral thesis 1986, titled Challenges in Being and Relating
VIGNETTE #OPEN LISTENING Part 1
Open listening to dreaming is a wonderfully enchanting and curious way of coming-to-know. It has taken me to the realm of spirit, to a place whose essence remains to now ineffable, that joined me with those whom I care and love. They have messages for me and us, since better than anyone it is they who understand the intention and need for what I and we are doing. I’ve tried to record those messages as best I can, in order to respond in the best way I can.As the snow sets in and then quietly melts away without a word, each day offering spaces for acts of renewed intention, I’m reminded of how knowing and not-knowing, grasping and letting-go are interchangeable states of a person and between people and things; entangled selves, entangled worlds. The journey is long and deep, I don’t know when it ends.
Image: Somewhere on the train between Plovdiv and Sofia, winter 2013

VIGNETTE #OPEN LISTENING Part 1

Open listening to dreaming is a wonderfully enchanting and curious way of coming-to-know. It has taken me to the realm of spirit, to a place whose essence remains to now ineffable, that joined me with those whom I care and love. They have messages for me and us, since better than anyone it is they who understand the intention and need for what I and we are doing. I’ve tried to record those messages as best I can, in order to respond in the best way I can.
As the snow sets in and then quietly melts away without a word, each day offering spaces for acts of renewed intention, I’m reminded of how knowing and not-knowing, grasping and letting-go are interchangeable states of a person and between people and things; entangled selves, entangled worlds. The journey is long and deep, I don’t know when it ends.

Image: Somewhere on the train between Plovdiv and Sofia, winter 2013

"You are something that no one sees: a collection of histories, stories, memories, pains, delights, sins, goodnesses, tragedies, successes, feelings and thoughts. They define you and they limit you. You’re an eternal, open parenthesis, so long as your eternity lasts."

~ Machado de Assis (English translation via @Phenomenologyblog on Facebook)