CULTURAL ACTORS AS AGENTS IN URBAN CHANGE #citiesareus #transiçõesurbanas

photo by Michelle Catanzaro

Michelle Catanzaro 
Reclaiming Space 

Michelle Catanzaro is a teacher and researcher on University of West Sydney. Michelle ha been studying the alternative and undergound spaces in Sydney, and how an ilegal network of informal places is one of the main cultural and artistic scenes in the city.
Today, her paper was presented in Cities are Us.

« Sydney is commonly recognised for its cultural energy and creativity but there are gaps in opportunities for participation and inclusion (predominately within Sydney’s working class), and Sydney residents have spoken out, claiming that they want, and that there is a need for a creative city. A need for a city that understands plans and provides space for creative industries (SGS Economic & Planning, 2008). Whilst this push to build new spaces and level the equitable circumstances of ‘creative spaces’ within the city is pending, Sydney artists and creatives have taken matters into their own hands. As a response to this situation, the alternative Sydney arts, performance and grassroots community scenes have reclaimed their right to the city, operating on a system of unofficial venues that run without relevant licenses (Red Rattler, 2010). I have labeled these spaces as ‘irregular’ venues or places. My research archives (through photography) what would otherwise be lost knowledge on how these creative spaces have been able to function with little to no legitimate support or existing infrastructure within the city. This research studies these irregular spaces in isolation and also as a whole; a living, thriving creature, that hibernates, breathes and stirs life into the city of Sydney.»

You can also read Michelle´s essay Competing spaces: Poker machines vs Live Music: here

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