City Scripts in the Field: What We're Working on

August 2022


The Spirit of East Harlem
, originally created by Hank Prussing in 1978 and refurbished by Manny Vega in 1998, depicts people of different ages of the mainly Latin American neighborhood in their everyday life in East Harlem. The fading of the mural due to the exposure to sunlight can also be read in a symbolical sense as processes of gentrification gradually force more and more people to leave the neighborhood due to rising rents and living costs. In his dissertation project Raising Ethnic Voices, Florian Deckers investigates contemporary approaches of LatinX artists and activists in New York City and Los Angeles.

July 2022

Credit: Hanna Rodewald
The installation "Traffic Control" (2022) by the Detroit based Afrofuturist Bryce Detroit was featured in the exhibition "Finding Home - Stories of Displacement" (April 22 - May 21 2022) at the Detroit Artist Market curated by Laura D. Gibson. Through the medium of street signs Bryce's art project "ROAD WORK" publicly campaigns against the displacement of Detroiters in the face of ongoing redevelopment strategies.

June 2022

Credit: Hanna Rodewald
Heidelbergstreet 3374: A cottonwood tree surrounded by four single-family houses, all varying in degree of architectural maintenance. Right next to it a yellow bulldozer, parked on the edge of what used to be a housing lot and what is now a freshly flattened field of brown soil. This photo contains many stories of the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood of Detroit’s eastside. Stories about a rich African American cultural history but also about an urban landscape charged with racial inequality and a prioritization of demolition over foreclosure prevention. Currently, the McDougall-Hunt Sustainable Redevelopment Plan works towards a vision for this neighborhood that critically takes all these issues into account. The 9:12 on the door of the house to the right is an artistic fingerprint of Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project which is also located on this street, and which artistically deals with the concept of time, home, memory, and the overall changing face of Detroit. This photo was taken by Hanna Rodewald during her research visit to Detroit in May 2022.

Hafen Dortmund
Credit: Christine Vennemann
Located in the inner-city, the Dortmund Harbor is a current example of a waterfront development in progress. In his dissertation project, Johannes Krickl investigates in how far scripts for Waterfront and Port developments stand in conflict with each other. The picture shows an abandoned building next to a newly build construction for companies and restaurants/ cafés.

May 2022

Credit: Christine Vennemann
Urban Gardening projects are a popular strategy for cities to become greener and supposedly more sustainable. Volunteers from the neighborhood or other groups come together and use a public space to harvest food. In her dissertation project, Elisabeth Haefs looks at urban greening strategies as a means to advance social inculsion and participation. The picture shows an urban gardening project in the making in Dortmund.

Credit: Marie Jacobi


Visual Storytelling:

This poster is a creative outcome of the event "Future Formats for the Region" in Essen, in which various members of the City Scripts Research Group participated. The  poster visualizes different ideas on how we talk about cities, what narratives we use and how we imagine cities in the future. It includes various projects, artists, but also scientific approaches.

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