Fascinated by the varying uses of public space, Visual Anthropologist Paola Frances Garnica and I documented the use of a particular street in Mexico City. Looking at Filadelfia Street in the area Benito Juarez, we explored how the stability of the street can guide people’s actions (for example, where there is a chair I will sit), and therefore can have an affect on the rhythm in our lives (in encouraging us to stop and sit rather than keep walking). But also, in using the street each individual changes the dynamics of the space itself.
It was an interesting activity in understanding how public space in general can guide our actions, how we use and contribute to that space in unique ways, and understanding the interplay between change and stability.
This project will appear in the form of a photo essay for a small, independent magazine in Mexico City called Mercado de Martes. Meanwhile, we created a video to promote the upcoming issue, which can be found here. (Apologies for the grainy visuals, we compressed the file size a bit too much). When watching the video, we ask people to think about the following: What is the rhythm of the street? How do we create it? How do we sustain it? How do we change it everyday? How do we remember it?
The day we were filming, the editor from Mercado de Martes, Abdelaziz Zuñiga Lopez, followed us around to document and understand our creation process. These are some of his photographs, found in the magazine’s Archives if you scroll down to February 2013.
One Reply to “Photovideo Filadelphia Street – Public Space, Change and Stability (Mercado de Martes)”
OK, so this reminds me of Jane Jacobs and what she was trying to tell Americans about inner city successful streets. It has to have diversity of businesses, a day life and a night life, encourage walkers and delivery trucks, a healthy mixture of old buildings (for emerging businesses) and new buildings and people who use it daily and provide security…amongst other things. She argued that parks are often placed in the wrong places.where there is not enough traffic to warrant efficient use of the space.
I look at streets differently now ever since I read one of her books (forgot the title) although it was meant for large American cities.
Once you have examined a space (in this case Filadelphia St.), do you draw conclusions? Or is that up to the viewer? Or posterity?