Tag Archives: commodification

The Psychology of Urbanity in Berlin: Urban Fieldwork and Photographic Essay

10 Feb
Top view of Berlin from Postdamer Platz Kollhoff-Tower

Picture 1. Top view of Berlin from Postdamer Platz Kollhoff-Tower

Introduction

One way to comprehend a city like Berlin is to look at it “from afar and above” as I did from the Panoramapunkt at Postdamer Platz Kollhoff-Tower (Hubbard, 2006, p. 97). From the Kollhoff-Tower Berlin looked like an ideally planned and rational metropolis because buildings and roads evoked a sense of a geometric perfection (see Picture 1). From this altitude I transferred into a voyeur who might be merely aware of the physical mechanisms of the city. To conceive Berlin as thoroughly as possible without a pretense of total generalization, I spend four days promenading the city. From below I engaged with city cultures, confronted issues of inclusion and exclusion, and perceived the psychology of the city. How does urbanity – both city life and (development of) urban areas – influence and is influenced by the dwellers in Berlin – one’s identity, attitudes, cognition, behavior, relationships, and imagination? What are the mechanism of inclusion and exclusion of people? How are some cultures (re)presented in the city landscape? I attempt to answer the above questions by means of photographs and interviews that documented some sides of urbanity in Berlin. Continue reading

Visual Culture and Its Replication

8 Sep
Rainy Thoughts

Rainy Thoughts

What interested me today is the discussion of visual culture (pictures, movies, photographs, video games) and its reproduction. The new semester has just started and I am assigned fascinating cultural and sociological text. The texts I read for my classes have hidden meaning and various interpretations. The reader, in this sense I, is bombarded with topics which can be decoded, if he is equipped with tools and competences allowing him to find the meaning of a theory. I admit I might still be ignorant for many issues in the social science department. However, I put an effort to understand the problems discussed in class. Today I try to make sense of The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Representation by Walter Benjamin (1892-1940).

Why Benjamin and his work are important in the social sciences? What triggered my interest? Continue reading