New York: Divided

Our view into a community is inherently divided: we see just one layer, one context. One city. The last few days, walking through New York, i find myself moving not just up and down, across the grid, but also through different layers. Layers of dereliction, layers of renewal, layers that are disenfranchised, peripheral, layers that are permanent, and ones that are transient, and all, of course, framed by the dominant narratives of commerce and control.

New York Divided

I find myself standing outside the Stonewall Inn: the sun is out, it’s quiet, so quiet i can hardly hear the shadow, the whisper, of one woman, handcuffed, beaten, shouting “why don’t you guys do something”, as the police dragged her down. The spark that lit the Stonewall riots, birthplace of the equal rights movement in the US.

The Stonewall Inn on the Dereliction Walk

Because the guys did do something: one account has them lining up in a chorus line, doing high kicks as the police charged. But the truth is probably more prosaic: scuffles, violence, the the start of an erosion.

Stonewall represents the fall of one dominant narrative, and the rise of another. The city represents many different narratives, aggregated, captured in brick and steel. Dominant narratives are those that are so established, that we do not hear them shout. But as much as they empower, they trap us: a dominant narrative of inequality was only fractured, divided, by violence. A tipping point.

The physical city simply delineates space: a cumulative delineation. City upon city. Story upon story. One city, divided.

Advertisements

About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
This entry was posted in Change and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to New York: Divided

  1. Pingback: Fallout: The Failure of Dominant Narratives | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.