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Some quick readings: homelessness & the occupation of space

Fissures in the urban fabric – Janet McGaw (AU)

“Where does terror lie for the already marginal? With the radical extremists, as our governments and newspapers would have us believe, or with those responsible for maintaining control and order on our city streets? I curated an architectural installation entitled Urban Threads in September 2004 with a group of homeless women in Melbourne for whom terror comes in the form of uniforms of office, men in suits, and unachievable social expectations. What most citizens would regard as a quick, safe protected shortcut through the city is for them a Path of Most Resistance. And when many regard a steel security door as a requirement for domestic safety, these women craft dwelling spaces from cardboard in other people’s doorways, hoping that yet another security guard won’t move them on tonight. For some of our citizens, the city has the ambivalent status of a place of surveillance, social control and ostracism yet also a home where they can find hidden places of refuge.”

Cameras don’t create context, people do – Small World News Network (US)

“Police departments across the country are having to think twice about removing Occupy camps by force, a deterrent not historically available to disenfranchised groups occupying public space illegally, such as Portland’s homeless community.”

Criminalising squatting will hit homeless – Peter Walker, The Guardian (UK)

“A letter from the charity Crisis and endorsed by the Big Issue Foundation challenges the media image that squatting is largely a lifestyle choice popular with middle class dropouts.”

Do people choose to become homeless? – The City of Sydney (AU)

“Some people ‘romanticise’ homelessness. This fails to acknowledge the stress and difficulties inherent in becoming and remaining homeless.”

*Added 26/10: Occupational hazard: Where’s the bathroom? – Barbara Ehrenreich (US)

“…what occupiers from all walks of life are discovering, at least every time they contemplate taking a leak, is that to be homeless in America is to live like a fugitive.”

01/11: Dissenting, or seeking shelter? Homeless stake a claim at protests – The New York Times (US)

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One thought on “Some quick readings: homelessness & the occupation of space

  1. Pingback: Camping and connecting « Flat 7

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