The Urban Stories Festival

Today, 54 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 70 percent by 2050. Urbanisation is a fact, making cities worldwide an even more relevant topic to talk about. What does urban journalism look like today and how can we make it function as a tool to address and solve urban issues? (citiesintransion)

The Urban Stories Festival is a great event for urban storytelling and journalism. It offers a discussion platform for urban issues and innovative ways for addressing these issues.

Urban Stories Festival (USF) shares the most important stories the city accommodates. During this four-day festival we look at urban journalism as a tool to address urban issues, provide a stage for innovative city stories and explore how digital developments help create new ways of storytelling. The festival offers workshops, talkshows, documentary screenings and lectures. Dive into the world of (citizen) journalism, press freedom, big data, digital storytelling tools and investigative urban journalism. (Urban Stories Festival)

 

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Another Brick…

Nut Brother, a performance artist from China, vacuumed Beijing’s heavily polluted air and turned it into a brick. The artist stood 4 hours a day 100 days to collect the dust in the air, then mixed the dust with clay and produced the bricj which symbolizes many aspects of this pollution.

 

(Image Credit: Quartz)

This symbolic acts tells us many things. But, his next step tells even more, giving the brick to a construction site to make it part of a new building in Beijing! He says this would be “just like putting a drop of water in the ocean” (Quartz),  a concrete ocean!

 

“You are, in your daily life, in the centre of the conflict”

Vous etes, dans votre vie quotidienne, au centre du conflit.

This is a slogan chanted during the protests against the Free Trade Area of the Americas in 2001 in Quebec, Canada. We are in our daily life in the centre of the conflict.

Reineke Otten, a designer working in visual sociology, documents daily life all around the world for some time.

Reineke practices ‘streetology’, an intuitive method of classifying and visually analyzing patterns of urban daily life. To understand the delicate relationships among places, she collects images of mundane but unique details that are so often overlooked, lost, or forgotten in the development of cities. (urbandailylife.com)

Although I am quite critical about this classification efforts, Reineke’s work is fascinating in terms of documenting the daily life in different context and situations. It provides a visual database for an urban researcher and for whom interested in the daily life of people. This is an ever expanding database, can be found online urbandailylife.com.

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(Image Credit: Reineke Otten)

 

Souvenir d’un Futur

Memory of a Future  is photography project of Laurent Kronental. The artist documents housing estates built for refugees and migrants after WWII at the peripheries of Paris.

Souvenir d’un Futur is a vibrant tribute to senior citizens stranded in the “Grands Ensembles” of the Paris region. These grand housing estates, erected after the Second World War to house a population of rural refugees and foreign migrants, are peopled with a heterogeneous mix. They are often depicted by the media with images of insecurity and neglect. In sharp contrast with these clichés, and enthralled by their passé modernist appeal, Laurent Kronental has compassionately sought to pay tribute to these urban veterans who have aged there and who may well go down with them. (l’Oeil)

Despite all the critisism of modern architectural landscapes and problems inherited in those. Laurent Kronental tells us a different story:

“There is actually a strength in these people. There are those melancholy glances but at the same time these solid postures. The people I photographed were far from being sad and they were still valiant despite, sometimes, a faraway look,” (The Washington Post)

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Visit Laurent’s website for other amazing photos of this imaginary of future from our shared past.