Personal Notes

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  • Why did you choose to write about this city?

 

Philadelphia is my home. It was my playground growing up, the Three Bears park providing me with fun and peace, my little Quince Street still etched with buggy marks a place of play and safety. I was the only kid on a street full of young and very old couples, and it took the whole village to raise me. I had no backyard, but endless alleyways and parks and people and buildings. It infuses me with pride and nostalgia.

  • Who would read/watch/visit/use your project? How would they access it? What do they value? What qualities would help them get the most from your project?

My biggest difficulty with this project was connecting the different kinds of people in Philadelphia. How do the gay artists connect to the black subway workers connect to the blue-color Italians in South Philly? The city is what it is because of these threads and voices and hands, but how do they come together? The murals provide a common forum and a place to forge connections and to meld these stories. So, this project is for Philadelphians to better understand where they came from and who shaped their home. They would access it through the separate wordpress blog I’ll create. They value community – we’re a people of brotherly love. We love being tough and gritty but hardworking and decent and completely communal. It’s time we understand who all of our brothers are. The people who’ll get the most of this project are those with plenty of Philly pride, as well as some soul-searching tendencies to understand and define their identity and roots.

  • Who else would care about your project, and what concerns would they have? For example, how might civic leaders view your project?

This project could be useful to civic leaders of all cities. In an increasingly stratified world, cities tend to look drastically different depending on the neighborhood. Through art and public expression, people and culture come together against all societal odds. It breaks barriers. A more unified city is a kinder, more compassionate, and safer one. When we understand each other, we can love each other.

  • What form will you use? Why? What advantages and limitations does that form offer?

I’m using a separate wordpress blog. This will allow my dashboard to have a series of murals representing different themes and groups. When you click on the picture, it takes you to another page with some description and literature and quotes. Throughout this description will be hyperlinks to other pages and other groups. This will show how the murals and peoples are connected. It’s good because it’ll have all the media in one place and still show coherent connections and differences. The one downside is that it may be inaccessible for older people who lack technological savvy.

  • Based on your review of representations of your city and of multimedia projects of the kind you want to create, what do you want to contribute to the “conversation” about your city in literature, film, and other media?

Though people have written about the murals, few attempt to connect them to the people themselves. Art comes from people as an expression of their souls and hearts. Tying the art to their creators and the bigger communities will help me untangle this complicated city and figure out its heartbeat. Philadelphia is often explored through separate experiences – I want to showcase the collective.

  • What makes this city difficult to represent effectively?

For reasons I’ve already mentioned, it’s difficult to show so many different viewpoints. The murals are the best way to understand the community.

  • How will you organize your project? How do you hope your audience will navigate through it?

As I explained, the murals will be portals to explanations and other pages. It’ll be highly interactive and exploratory, the next best thing to wandering the streets of Philadelphia yourself.


One Response to “Personal Notes”

  1. You have a great start here, and I’d encourage you to develop your ideas about what you want to add to the existing representations of Philadelphia — both, perhaps, to the existing sites about the murals and to the broader representation — by thinking about how the murals reflect the relationships between separate and collective and by looking at that question through the lens of some of our readings and discussions.

    You might also think a bit more about audience, especially about why someone would be looking for a website about the murals, or how they would stumble upon your page, or what they will see when they first arrive that might make them want to dig into your examples. One of the challenges of these projects is figuring out how to attract an audience.

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