An abandoned freight track on Manhattan’s West Side, considered by local businesses to be nothing more than an eyesore and an impediment to development, became the cause célèbre of New Yorkers in the early twenty-first century. Efforts to “save the High Line” resulted in one of the largest creations of public space in New York history. The 8.8 metertall High Line, which stretches 12 blocks between Ganesvoort Street and 20th Street, features both permanent and temporary art installations that inform visitors of their movement through space and its implication for the natural and constructed worlds. A post-industrial yearning for a more harmonious relationship between humans and the natural world can be detected in New Yorkers’ affection for the High Line. The elevated nature of this raised railroad track creates an ethereal and otherworldly sensation. The traffic below becomes an abstraction and pedestrians, always vulnerable on the streets, are lifted above the fray.
An Exhibit Review of New York's
Tracy Nichols Busch
The Importance of Line in Émile Bravo's Spirou à Bruxelles
This article considers Émile Bravo's screenprint, Spirou à Bruxelles, in order to analyse the relations that existed between the two dominant styles of comic book drawing in Belgium during the mid-twentieth century: the ligne claire style associated with Le Journal de Tintin and the Marcinelle school characterised by artists affiliated with Le Journal de Spirou. Working outward from the specific details of this image, the article situates Spirou within the history of Belgian children's publishing, and the world of modernist and surrealist painting as it can be encapsulated in the figure of René Magritte. The article suggests that the study of line has been historically overlooked by comics studies, and suggests ways by which this absence might be rectified.
Playing at Diminished Reality in East Jerusalem
Fabio Cristiano and Emilio Distretti
Augmented reality enables video game experiences that are increasingly immersive. For its focus on walking and exploration, Niantic’s location-based video game Pokémon Go (PG) has been praised for allowing players to foster their understanding and relationship to surrounding spaces. However, in contexts where space and movement are objects of conflicting narratives and restrictive policies on mobility, playing relies on the creation of partial imaginaries and limits to the exploratory experience. Departing from avant-garde conceptualizations of walking, this article explores the imaginary that PG creates in occupied East Jerusalem. Based on observations collected in various gaming sessions along the Green Line, it analyzes how PG’s virtual representation of Jerusalem legitimizes a status quo of separation and segregation. In so doing, this article argues that, instead of enabling an experience of augmented reality for its users, playing PG in East Jerusalem produces a diminished one.
Most films, most of the time, are affectively unified. What I call “synesthetic affects” are orchestrated in an attempt to provide a holistic affective experience congruent with the film's unfolding narrative and thematic concerns. Yet Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line elicits contradictory or incongruent affects, such incongruence neither being justified by genre conventions, “excess,” irony, nor stumbled upon through incompetence. The Thin Red Line elicits incongruent emotions for the purposes of generating an experience of rumination and wonder. The study of such incongruent emotions, still in its infancy, raises important methodological issues about the study of mixed emotions and the conventions for mixing affects in the cinema.
Migrant smuggling and everyday life in the Maghreb
Drawing on extensive fieldwork among Malian migrants and connection men, this article investigates the sociality of facilitating migrant journeys and illegal border crossings in the Maghreb. Dominant discourses portray smugglers as participating in highly organized networks of unscrupulous people taking advantage of innocent migrants. I counter such narratives by zooming in on West African migrants involved in the facilitation of illegal border crossings. This bizness consists of ensembles of temporary practices and relations embedded in everyday life with linkages to historical and regional practices of brokering and hosting. This perspective invites us to move conceptually from focusing on different (stereo) types of smugglers to considering smuggling practices; to make sense of the phenomenon, we need to pay less attention to fixed social positions and more to the transient social poses adopted by those involved.
From Slave Catchers to Petty Sovereigns
Though states are founded in and dependent on successfully claiming a monopoly on the use of violent force and the certification of citizenship, these means suggest particular ends: the production of the social order. Police have the primary mandate to produce order and administer poverty. From a new abolitionist perspective, the particular social order of the U.S. is unique. The white race was founded through the production and maintenance of the color line and performed through a cross-class alliance of whites. Policing is deeply implicated in these processes. A historical account of police during the Herrenvolk era is provided. Finally, the persistence of racist policing is explained in light of a now officially color-blind political order, with officers functioning as petty sovereigns in a neoliberal era.
On Recurrence and Open-Endedness in Life and Analysis
Anne Line Dalsgaard and Martin Demant Frederiksen
Based on long-term fieldwork in Northeast Brazil and the Republic of Georgia, this article explores how open-endedness can be incorporated into ethnographic analysis and writing, not as the empirical object, but as a basic condition for knowledge production. In the empirical contexts that we describe, daily life is marked by poor prospects and the absence of possibility, especially for young people. Rather than letting this guide our analyses, this article argues for the necessity of paying attention to the openness and potential of experienced moments of change. We propose that even relapses into former habits and predicaments present the potential for change on a subjective level. In the process of putting informants' stories into words and analysis, we revisit both field and text, constituting a hopeful practice similar to that of our informants.
A Comparative Perspective on Youth in Marginalized Positions
Susanne Højlund, Lotte Meinert, Martin Demant Frederiksen and Anne Line Dalsgaard
The article explores how societal contexts create different possibilities for faring well towards the future for young marginalized people. Based on a comparative project including ethnographies from Brazil, Uganda, Georgia and Denmark the authors discuss well-faring as a time-oriented process based on individual as well as societal conditions. The article argues that in order to understand well-faring it is important to analyse how visions and strategies for the future are shaped in relation to local circumstances. Whether it is possible to envision the future as hopeless or hopeful, as concrete or abstract or as dependent on family or state is a ma er of context. Well-faring is thus neither an individual nor a state project but must be analysed in a double perspective as an interplay between the two.
Louise K. Davidson-Schmich
The fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Bloc provided students of Germany and eastern Europe with unprecedented opportunities to investigate the attitudes and values of those socialized under communism. Extensive mass and elite opinion studies have documented that after decades of rule by an all-encompassing political party imposing iron discipline, eastern Europeans distrust political parties as well as party discipline. Students of eastern Germany have found similar patterns, both at the mass and elite levels. Eastern German politicians and their voters clearly are skeptical of strict party discipline and united in their belief that common interests should outweigh partisan concerns when legislation is made. These attitudes differ sharply from western German opinion, which is more supportive of both parties as a whole and party discipline in particular.
The Red Star Line Museum
Red Star Line Museum, Montevideostraat 3, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium. Admission: €8 adults; €6 groups; free for children under 12 and and school groups http://www.redstarline.be/en Open since September 2013