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NYC, national parks, migration, and visual sociology

20 November, 2009

Back in January we blogged about a competition for documentaries focusing on the multicultural city.  Right now the same organisation is calling for papers for a second festival.  One film I recently came across would certainly fit this framework.  Called, “Hear Every voice: NYC and the National Park Service”, this film is a collaborative effort between filmmaker Stephen Ogumah, the National Parks Service, and sociologists Professors Jerry Krase and Jennifer Adams of Brooklyn College, along with a number of their students.  The central question the film asks is how New York’s national parks can contribute to the experience of urban living, especially for the city’s highly diverse migrant population.

The film brings together the themes migration, multiculturalism, and the uses of urban space, particularly common space.  For example, it considers how shared spaces may be implicated in generating interactions in an ethnically diverse population through practices such as shared gardening, festivals such as carnivals, or even cricket.  Social research methodologies are also featured, as Brooklyn College students work as interns with the National Parks association to research knowledge of, and attitudes towards national parks in NYC.  Overall I found this interesting to watch, mainly because it brought together a themes that I wouldn’t normally associate with each other, namely the possible relationship(s) between migration and national parks.  It’s well worth a watch, and could possibly be a good resource in teaching courses on urban anthropology and/or migration.

 

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