Margins at the Center: Experiments in Immersive Instant Geotelling

Authors: Elisabetta Rosa*, Université catholique de Louvain, Maurizio Memoli, Università di Cagliari, Ivan Blečić, Università di Cagliari
Topics: Urban Geography
Keywords: Immersing instant geotelling, film, margins, city, Brussels
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper is about four short films on the city centre of Brussels, produced during a five-day workshop we have organised in October 2018, with eight PhD students, two video-makers and three teachers (us), set to explore the heterotopias and heterocronies of a huge construction site presently transforming the main boulevard into a pedestrian area.
For their production, we have devised and experimented a method and exploratory practice of “immersive instant geotelling” (IIG), inspired by approaches of body and emotional immersion and disorientation, where the “privileged observer” is not only immersed, but also involved in the socio-spatial reality, acting upon it and perturbing it, even if only by the mere act of holding a camera and pointing it at people and spaces.
The four films thus chronicle our errant roaming, encounter, astonishment and contrasting affects with places and people who live there. Bodies pushed by the city, chasing gazes, and us moving along and among smells, shapes, borders, people, and practices; the rhythms and temporalities of people and practices intersecting, overlapping and opposing the tectonic materiality, rhythms and sounds of the overblown building site, aimed at making the city centre more attractive and competitive within a neoliberal logic. Yet “other” geographies arise beyond these expectations, creeping into the interstices and unfolding socio-spatial-temporal margins, and new scenes, meanings, and hypothesis.
We shall argue that the method and practice of IIG is apt to offer an embodiment of narratives of actions, representations, and their relationship to space by means of social practices.

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