Categories
Future Building Places Society

Interrogating gentrification

Liked Gentrification is Inevitable (and Other Lies) by Anne Helen Petersen (Culture Study)

“Unfortunately, these kinds of changes are often portrayed as a natural evolution of city space, rather than as the result of deliberate policy making and sets of choices by powerful actors. We conflate the idea that cities change (of course they do!) with the idea that neighborhoods are inevitably taken over by wealthier, whiter residents.”

Gentrification today is often faster, more radically transformative, and directed by powerful state and corporate actors.

Queering asks us to question the normative values that fuel gentrification: ideas about the home and family, the relationship between property and social acceptance, and what is required for liberation and empowerment. Queering also pushes an anti-gentrification politics to interrogate its own normative assumptions. These could include the unquestioned valorization of working-class identities and spaces, the notion of community, and the foundations of the right to the city.

Categories
Future Building Lifestyle Personal Growth

Learning to live in community

Liked Themes of a Year (2022) by Anne Helen Petersen (Culture Study)

You’re trying to shore up your own life raft. Putting on your own oxygen mask and worrying about others’ later. But there is no such thing, not in this moment, as amassing enough capital to actually feel secure. You reach one foothold and start scrambling for the next, always focused on you and yours, forgetting that what you really need is a safety net. You need community that won’t immediately use you as a footstool and bitterly and violently sack all you’ve diligently amassed…

It’s so annoying, isn’t it, that the weightlessness and safety we crave requires more work. That to remember we are beloved, we must also do the labor of loving. It is particularly annoying to those of us obsessed with conceptions of fairness that there is no scoreboard to community, either, and that reciprocity is never straightforward, and rarely takes place within a designed period of time. We’re not talking about Giving Tree self-abnegation here, we’re talking about the real difficulty, when you’ve spent your life trying to get ahead, with letting go of keeping score.

Emphasis mine.

See also:

Gifting art

We Should Get Together

Categories
Health Self Care Society

Stress response

Liked That’s a stress response (annehelen.substack.com)

My intense stress may have been less than others’, in other words, but that didn’t diminish how my body was internalizing it.

And so, instead of acknowledging — then or until recently — the effects of that structural stress, and connecting it to my hair loss, I did what so many of us learn to do: 1) conceive of it as a personal failing and 2) conceive of it as a personal failing remedied through consumerism.

My body has severely expressed its anger over the situation over the past two plus years. From little things like irritating dermatitis flare-ups to constant indigestion to heart issues, my body is trying to tell me something is wrong.

We’re bad at talking about this stuff because a lot of the causes are intertwined and intersectional…But we’re especially bad at talking about it because of a collective tendency to treat ailments as personal.

It’s our structures — the units of community and family and care that are supposed to catch us — that are fundamentally unwell.

So we can navigate this alone, as so many of us have…But on a societal scale, I also know this: we recover together — or not at all.

The current societal response of saying everyone’s responsible for protecting their own health is ableist and short-sighted (it literally costs more to not offer universal health care): we operate as a society and need each other, no matter how much some like to think of themselves as independent. They need workers at the ports to transport goods they buy, they need the workers at the factory to make things, they need waiters to serve them at restaurants. And that’s just looking at the direct dependencies. As a society, what are we missing out on by excluding everyone with cancer and chronic illnesses from participating in society because we’ll do nothing to help protect their safety? I think of an Eons show I watched recently sharing examples of early human groups caring for disabled and “non-contributing” members of their group, in some cases for years. Economic contributions and service aren’t the only ways we need each other, they aren’t the only value we offer our community. Something we seem to have forgotten for the time being.