Pastoralympics

Wait, that’s not an Olympic sport! Photo courtesy UK Department of Culture, Media, and Sport Texted, tweeted, teasing browsers of a hundred “sneak preview” slideshows ─ in short, serving as the centerpiece of endless international speculation for weeks prior to its debut ─ the verdant green fields on which the curtain of the 2012 Olympics […]

Posted in: Europe, History, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Pastoralympics , , , , , , ,

Watching the World Cup

The World Cup kicks off this Friday. I’m looking forward to it. No other sporting event combines sport, geography and national pride quite the way it does. Around the world, millions of people will watch their countries and their soccer heroes do battle in South Africa. Whatever you think of the game itself, it’s hard […]

Make Some Noise, Hong Kong!

Outdoor concert on St. Viateur Street in Montreal — something that could never happen in Hong Kong under the current noise regulations Last month, on a muggy Saturday afternoon, a couple of hundred people gathered in the courtyard of the former Central Married Police Quarters for a taste of something rare in Hong Kong: live […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Music, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Make Some Noise, Hong Kong! , , , ,

Fighting Over Flowers

I’ve never seen anyone get so angry over flowers. It’s tradition to buy flowers in advance of the Chinese New Year, a festival that celebrates renewal as one lunar year gives way to another. Last year, when I was living in the Mongkok Flower Market, I watched as traffic became more and more snarled as […]

Politics and Pedestrians

On New Year’s Eve, 9pm, Tsim Sha Tsui was packed with revellers. Everyone seemed to be having a good time; even the South Asian touts who are normally aggressive in their pitches for fake watches, tailored suits and Indian restaurants were taking it easy and hanging out in the middle of Nathan Road. Hundreds of […]

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A Detour in Hong Kong

This might be an odd thing to say about Hong Kong, but the place lacks spontaneity. For all of its hustle and intensity, it’s awfully beholden to routine: every day, the same street markets, the same packed MTR trains, the same carnival of consumerism. Even the political protests, though frequent, are quite orderly, almost choreographed. […]

“We’re Just After the Profits”

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/6501875[/vimeo] I like this short documentary about a Filipino carnival, even if it is essentially an advertisement for a new DSLR that shall remain unnamed (it should be obvious enough once you finish watching it). There are some remarkable shots here but the pace is a bit too brisk for its own good. I wish […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Society and Culture, Video by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on “We’re Just After the Profits” , ,

Forty Years Since Stonewall

“Freedom! I want freedom! Let me go!” The woman’s arms were flailing wildly, and she was shouting at a police officer standing guard at the intersection of Christopher and Greenwich Streets. Her gesticulations could have been mistaken for a political protest — she was, after all, among the hundreds pressed against the crowd control barriers, […]

Posted in: History, Politics, Society and Culture, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Forty Years Since Stonewall , , ,

Big Day in Little Sydney

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/3548220[/vimeo] Videographer Keith Loutit is spending a year filming Sydney in tilt-shift time-lapses, such as this one of the city’s Mardi Gras celebration, above. What does Loutit’s reduction of urban life to miniature tell us about the city he’s working in? And what does tilt-shift photography say about humanity and its built environments? Is it […]

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Hong Kong New Year

Last year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Photo by sunday driver New Year’s Eve has always been a bit underwhelming for me, never quite living up to the big-screen romance of fireworks exploding above jubilant crowds. Maybe that’s because, until now, the warmest place I’ve spent New Year was Vancouver, where it was a relatively balmy […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong New Year , , ,

Celebrating Obama’s Victory

[youtube]Rkq9u2JcH6Y[/youtube] If anyone doubted that the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States was a watershed moment, the sight of him delivering his victory speech before an ecstatic crowd in Chicago’s Grant Park should have changed that. Although every politician’s victory is accompanied by jubilation on the part of his or her […]

No Poor People Here

Every summer, Prince’s Island — a beautiful island park in the Bow River, right next to downtown Calgary — plays host to a number of large festivals, including the always-interesting folk music festival, which took place last week with some big headliners and great enthusiasm. These festivals are an asset to the cultural life of […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Politics, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on No Poor People Here , , , ,

Cops and Crowds

Police officers on Ste. Catherine Street, Montreal

Posted in: Canada, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Cops and Crowds , , ,

Metro Partying

[youtube]_cWYgJazm7Y[/youtube] Earlier this evening I attended the latest Montreal edition of Pecha Kucha Night, a creative show-and-tell that is based around a number of brief six-minute presentations on an eclectic array of topics. One of tonight’s presenters spoke about Urban Play, an umbrella term meant to unite much of the public space-related art and intervention […]