"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 place/world experience.

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

PhD candidate Planning and Building
University of South Australia

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Juhani Pallasmaa: The Aura of the Sacred 2012
'We live in the flesh of the world…
We are not outsiders and spectators of our world, but an inseparable part of this universe. The world is constituted through us and we inhabit the world’ (Merleau-Ponty; Pallasmaa).

Going through some impressions I wrote and photographs I took along the way, I’ve been revisiting places and experiences from a compelling winter

High in these mountains, embodied wilderness,
The wind sounds like giant ocean waves
For so long I imagined a nearby waterfall.
So disorienting, yet is there any other place to be?
Someone said silence is impossible,
Here it comes close
With pure clarity, I hear,
The snow melting,
A leaf making its way back to its roots,
Snow dogs far off higher in the mountains,
I have no idea how to measure these echoes.
Every step a total journey, mapless, inner-directional, I find myself memorising the landscape.
To be in Nature’s hands, I’m certain, is to experience the most authentic freedom there is.

I wrote this in my mind as wandering through and within the Pirin Mountains, Bulgaria
"Thinking in place" Part II Winter 2013

Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny by Mark Sandiford, National Film Board of Canada

"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… ;)