The Spaces of Suburbia – Ep 5

 

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(Photo Credit: Photo of ACROSS Lexington way-finding sign on route A.  Photo taken by Oliver Rick.)

 

In this episode we explore the history and spaces of suburbia, focusing on the role of physical activity in the shaping of suburban life.  The story and development of American suburbs is a long, complicated, and often overlooked social history, but what many people forget is their persistent role as spaces where people exercise, play sport, and seek leisure. In developing the episode we spoke with several contributors to examine questions not only of what the suburbs have been in the past, but what they could be in the future as places where people are physically active. It is becoming clearer with each day that cities continue to spill out into their surrounding districts, and there are intense commercial pressures to privatize and enclose the public/open lands of the these communities. Here we examine how these pressures have been dealt with in suburban communities and what these communities can do to preserve land in accessible and equitable ways.

 

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Embodying Belfast’s Feminist Activism – Ep 4

 

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(Photo Credit: Helen McBride speaking at a Belfast Reclaim the Night event in 2015.  Photo by Ciara McMullan.)

 

I’ve [co-founder Sam] had the privilege to know my friend Helen McBride for at least seven years now.  She currently lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and in the span of our friendship she has become increasingly immersed in feminist activism.  We met while graduate students at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and from the beginning her work and energies were directed to studying and highlighting the role of women and feminism.  Her graduate historical research explored the role of Northern Irish women community organizers within the peace process during the Troubles.  While in Laramie she became involved in the community’s Take Back the Night and SlutWalk events.  When she returned to Belfast following her graduate work, she became heavily involved in the feminist activist community, co-founding the city’s Hollaback chapter, joining the Belfast Feminist Network, and becoming a member of the Belfast Go Girl collective of young, creative women, as well as the city’s local roller derby community.  As far as I’m concerned, Helen exemplifies how millions of women embody their feminist activism and politics within their everyday life.

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Pondering Garden Cities – Ep 3

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(Photo Credit: Photo of Letchworth Garden City “Agricultural Belt”.  Photo taken by Sam Clevenger.)

 

This episode deviates slightly from previous Somatic episodes in that it combines a personal journey of contemplation with an exploration of an interesting historical topic to create almost an artistic and audial rendering of a somatic experience.  In this episode, I talk about my PhD research on the history of the international garden city movement, specifically two prominent planned communities that emerged as a result of the movement: Letchworth Garden City in the United Kingdom, and Greenbelt, Maryland in the United States.  Playing recorded soundscapes from my visit to these communities, I reflect on my experience visiting and staying in these communities, talk about the history, and ponder the significance of such planned communities in terms of how they help us rethink the meaning of our bodies in relation to our built environments.  As a result, the episode involves a mixture of approaches in that I both talk about the history of garden city ideals, and ponder my own somatic experience in the communities.  It’s kind of like a personal journey and soundscape that I’m hoping is in some way informative and interesting to you, the listener.

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Somatic in Brief: NASSS 2016 – Ep 2.5

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Photo Credit: Banner image borrowed from nasss.org

In this episode we took a break from our usual format and tried out something new. We are going to try to stay as close as possible to a monthly schedule with our main episode releases, but there are times when we want to be able to go outside of that routine and put out a show that may need to be more timely or that does not quite fit a normal format. Continue reading

The Possibilities of Sharing – Cycle Hire in London – Ep 2

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(Photo Credit: Canadian Pacific London bicycle share program via photopin (license))

Bike share programs, sometimes also referred to as cycle-hire schemes, are becoming an increasingly common place part of transportation infrastructure and programming in cities around the world. In this episode we had a chance to sit down and talk with Transport for London’s (TFL) Duncan Robertson to understand what this specifically looks like with in London. Specifically we were interested in connecting the function of the scheme with the political intent of former mayor Boris Johnson, and what this might mean for the future of the program.

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Olympics Special – From Rio to the future of the games – Ep 1

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(Photo credit: marktmcn Olympic dream via photopin (license))

The Olympics is one of the biggest sporting events in the world that connects to a wide array of global and local political, economic, social, cultural, and technological processes. As such it has received a lot of attention, both in the popular media and through academic analysis. In order to cut through this multiplicity of voices and opinions we turned to Dr. Bryan Clift to explore how he views to games in Rio and what it means for the future of the Olympics.

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Riding the city – Pilot Ep

 

Placeholder Image In this episode we explore the experience of riding in the city, a space currently in a process of massive upheaval as people stream back into spaces once hollowed out by deindustrialization and depopulation. This has created massive contradictions, and layers on top of the immediate experiences of riding in urban spaces. All these themes and more are explored through a creative narrative telling.

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