The Urban Space of Occupied Hong Kong

What surprised me most was the silence. Here I was, standing on what is normally an eight-lane funnel of angry traffic, and the only sounds I could hear were footsteps and the soft murmur of voices. Free of diesel exhaust, the briny scent of the harbour lingered in the air, and a warm breeze ruffled […]

Photos of the Week: Zones d’affichage

Posters for cultural events in Montreal. Photo by übung Real estate posters in Hong Kong. Photo by Damien Polegato Every week, we feature striking images from our Urbanphoto group on Flickr. Want to see your photos here? Join the group.

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Canada by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Photos of the Week: Zones d’affichage , , ,

Postering in Montreal: Legal at Last

Stapling a poster to a Saint-Viateur hydro pole A Quebec Court of Appeal judge has ruled that Montreal’s anti-postering bylaw, which prohibits posters from being stuck to public street furniture, violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Montreal will now have to find a way to legally accommodate posters on public property. We have local […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Postering in Montreal: Legal at Last , , ,

Hong Kong Street Art Goes Political

In a winter marked by rallies and protests, young people unhappy with Hong Kong’s government are taking to the streets in more ways than one. Over the past year, Hong Kong’s street artists have left their mark with posters, stickers and stencil graffiti that attack some of the city’s most prominent politicians and business leaders. […]

Vive la crise!

Montreal doesn’t seem to have been hit terribly hard by this latest crise économique, maybe because it has spent most of the recent past recovering from a string of much more substantial crises. At the very least, it has given us a break from the excesses of the previous years, a time to reflect on […]

Toronto’s Poster Plants

When I wrote about the political and cultural importance of posters (not to mention their aesthetic contribution to the city by making it look messy and lived-in), I never considered that they could also have an environmental benefit. Luckily, two artists in Toronto, Eric Cheung and Sean Martindale, have demonstrated exactly how this can be […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Environment, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Toronto’s Poster Plants , , , ,

Hong Kong’s Democracy Wall

I’d noticed it before, but the significance of the Democracy Wall, a bulletin board outside the University of Hong Kong’s main library, didn’t strike me until earlier this spring. When I first saw it, I thought its name was a wry reference to the brick wall that became a popular venue for dissent during 1978’s […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, History, Politics, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Hong Kong’s Democracy Wall ,

Boarded Up and Postered Over

Left, the Main between Duluth and Rachel in 1988; right, the former Laurier Cinema, now a bookstore, in 1988. Below, posters on a brick wall in 1996

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Pop Art

Posters for Pop Montreal, early October, in an alley near St. Viateur in Mile End

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Scenes from Away

Early in 2007, when the city was under cover of snow, somebody stapled pictures of lush gardens and inviting squares onto the wooden hydro poles around Mile End. “This is where we make good on life,” it was written below one of the photos. It was a nice gesture, reminding us that gentler weather was […]

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A Gangster and the Main

Walking around this weekend I noticed a procession of odd posters around the Main: “Québécois et Québécoises ! Montréalais-Montréalaises ! Prenez part à un mouvement HISTORIQUE !” they declared rather excitedly. “Le mouvement boulevard Lucien-Rivard propose de rébaptiser le boulevard Saint-Laurent à Montréal : boulevard Lucien-Rivard.” Above was what appeared to be a mugshot, a […]

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Vancouver Furnishes Its Sidewalks

Downtown Vancouver has an abundance of high-quality new street furniture, thanks in large part to a proactive planning department that gives developers density bonuses in exchange for public amenities. So far, developers have paid for countless water features, a good number of parks, social housing, a permanent home for the Vancouver International Film Festival and […]

Post These Bills

Concert posters are an essential part of Montreal’s vibrant independent music scene, which has in recent years launched a number of bands into international prominence, such as the Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade. Posters. For community groups, musicians, activists, small businesses, even people who’ve lost their cat, they’re the most effective way to get the […]