Top Row (Left to Right):  Anze Zadel, Bonnie Netel, Charles Chawalko, Joshua Barndt and Shirley Bucknor

Bonnie Netel
Bonnie Netel is from Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, or the Pocono Mountains for those familiar with Northeastern Pennsylvania. She is a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Architecture program at Philadelphia University. During her five years at Philadelphia University, she served as the Team Captain for the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) community service organization, Freedom by Design. As the Team Captain, she led students to design and build for those with limited mobility in the Philadelphia community. Her passion to investigate urban transformation and social need has led her to the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program at the Parsons The New School for Design.

Charles Chawalko
Charles Chawalko is a jack-of-all-trades urbanist born and raised in New York City. Personally experiencing 9/11 and growing up mere blocks from Ground Zero, he became focused on all pursuits concerning history, politics, and community development. He graduated from Fordham University at Lincoln Center with a B.A. in History back in 2010. During his academic career, he took on research projects in a smattering of subjects, such as Medieval Europe, Developing South Politics, US Foreign Policy, American Suburbanization, or NYC Politics; and, it all culminating in a research thesis on Toleration Under the Sun: An Analysis of Norman Political Administation and Adaptations to Greco-Arab Sicily. After graduation, he worked in the design retail world; and, he became involved in various community efforts – including one to protect his Mitchell-Lama development from privatization. Understanding the currents of Neoliberal economic policies in today’s politics and the adverse conditions it has on local communities, he was inspired to join the M.S. in Design and Urban Ecologies program. He is also an avid audiophile, persistent concert-goer, and advocate in the New York music scene.

Joshua Barndt
Joshua Barndt is a professional community-based artist and curator with a specialization in mural making, documentary video, and sculptural installation. He completed his BFA in 2008 in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal. As a community artist, Barndt coordinates participatory public art projects with youth and adults in under-served neighborhoods in Toronto. In 2011 Barndt was recognized for his exceptional work in this area, receiving the Toronto Arts Foundation’s first ever Artists for Community Engagement(ACE) Award. As an emerging curator, Barndt specializes in facilitating art projects that activate the public realm with a focus on the material (e.g., use of recycled materials), social (e.g., engagement of specific communities), and spatial and temporal contexts (e.g., site-specific interventions) of the urban environment. As the program director of Whippersnapper Gallery, a radical government funded emerging artist centre based in Toronto, Barndt has curated over 18 exhibits and public art projects. He has additionally played a key administrative role in multiple emerging arts organizations in Canada. These roles include; Co-Director of the Art Matters Festival 2008 (Montreal), Coordinator of Youth Week of Art and Activism 2009 (Toronto), and the Executive Producer of Late Night in the Bedroom from 2009-2010 (Toronto). www.joshuabarndt.com



101 thoughts on “poliSOCIAL

  1. Same poster… in Spanish!


    Posted by bonnienetel | December 7, 2012, 6:43 pm
  2. Updated Storyboard


    Posted by bonnienetel | December 3, 2012, 10:10 am
  3. Weekly Report 12/2/12

    Starting from Harvey’s critique of our presentation from last Monday, we decided to explore forming a narrative based upon possible action, rather than inquiry. From the “Identifying the Moment” introduction, we delved into the different frames and pondered how we could engage our audience. Concurrently, we also included “lofty, utopian goals” for La Union’s future as those need to be connected with the courses of action that will be proposed. Linking with the powerful talks from the Urban Uprisings conference, Anze brought up a fascinating endeavor: creating new unions – including a renters’ union. Considering the already expanding organization in Sunset Park of various groups for rent strikes, eviction protections, and pre-foreclosure alerts, it could be a feasible moment to mobilize these groups together into forming a renters’ union to ensure further rights and safety for all those who live in Sunset Park. Logistics and details about this organization are still being decided upon; but, an overall goal of this group should be moving the domicile from the rental world to off-market. These conversations mobilized the production of story-boards on how this narrative will develop, with our research peppered into each slide.

    In conversing and brainstorming with Braden on the status of St. Jacobi in the community, we are provided with a unique opportunity: the ability for La Union’s space to be from within via a common use agreement. This is to be further explored in contingencies and details. However, this knowledge further allows a new channel to be explored: the potent role of church space in the urban environment. By ascertaining churches, temples, and mosques (and their property) as critical spaces of pre-capitalism in the current built environment – already with a naturally socialist tinge through Judeo-Christian theology, one can envision this space as the means and mobilization of social change, even already documented in the efforts from Occupy Sandy. Rev. Susan Johnson in a journal on church spaces wrote, “Religious institutions are agents for social change; they are also caretakers of the community. Where congregations are active in their communities, their neighborhoods deal better with all kinds of social change. Where these religious organizations have been closed or decreased their role in the community, these areas are at greater risk of deterioration and upheaval. For the sake of our mission and the well-being of our human community — it is well worth the effort to share our buildings.” This quote from a religious official really makes wonder how this can truly translate into something different. Based on current information from Letitia, it is still questionable how the church leadership would respond to such an idea; but, considering the dying parishes of churches (at least ones for older communities that are dispersing or no longer living), this idea of social change certainly can give these places a second chance at life at creating lives in the community.

    Moreover, we can consider St. Jacobi as an ideal initiator for the community land trust. By looking at past American examples of CLTs, the church – with its tax-free exemption and community involvement – makes it an opportune moment to bringing a community to a better level and status. Sister Lucy of the Woodland CLT in Maine – who fought five years for a CLT to provide housing for their poor parishioners – said “We are not building houses; we are building communities for the dispossessed.” The justification for a CLT through an institution like St. Jacobi already lives within Christian theology: consider it a preferential option than merely giving alms.


    Posted by citybug7 | December 3, 2012, 12:05 am
  4. A diagram of our discussion today

    DEC 2

    Posted by bonnienetel | December 2, 2012, 7:29 pm
  5. A preview of our storyboard in progress


    Posted by bonnienetel | December 2, 2012, 7:23 pm
  6. Reading Diagram! Yay! Rebound and PoliSocial!!


    Posted by Anze Zadel | November 18, 2012, 11:28 pm
    • Thanks, I believe this would be a good ice breaker, but by no means focus on this as the directive of the property choices. Other factors should be considered beyond spatial accessibility, it would be interesting that you also include them in the future discussions.

      Posted by miguelroblesduran | November 18, 2012, 11:59 pm
  7. Here is just a schematic (non-specific by any means) for the sociogram tactic that we looked into earlier. It is just one idea of how me might host a workshop with La Union, but something we are not tied to.

    This might actually overlap with Cityzen, or mirror, not really certain. The idea is that we start with a base map of Sunset Park, and use the tactics that we have been using all along in our own group but with La Union. We would use pins and string for them to response questions of: Where do you live? Where do you take your children to school? Where do you grocery shop? Where do you work? (Not quite rapid-fire questioning as I just described.)

    Then we would look to see where the most amount of lines seem to overlap. Is it appropriate to acquire property based on where the most amount of active traffic is? We would then hope to make connections by saying… hey, there is a project going on right by there! Or, a local organization is housed right there!

    From there, we determine that as a possible area for land acquisition since that is already such a closely connected area to the people. Then we can tie that to vacant lots, or whatever information we have collected thus far. Since our group is investigating Community Land Trusts, we can see how that can apply.

    Not really sure what the outcome would be, but just a thought or at least a good medium for conversation.


    Posted by bonnienetel | November 18, 2012, 8:56 pm
  8. http://www.roomservices.org/Epicenter/epicenter.htm

    This is actually a project that Anze has worked on that we are using as a precedent for one direction of a workshop strategy… the sociogram to depict the relationships of people and activities spatially

    Posted by bonnienetel | November 18, 2012, 8:41 pm
  9. Harvey- Paris

    Posted by shirleybucknor | November 12, 2012, 8:38 pm
  10. The diagram looks very promising, it touches many lines of possible action but it still does not hint into the formation of a coherent operative line(s) of focus, seems disassociated, you have to work on the associations and blur those things that aren’t directly implicated in them. Im very interesting to see how it turns out.

    Posted by miguelroblesduran | November 12, 2012, 1:32 am
  11. Redesign of group dynamic! Work in progress, of course!


    Posted by bonnienetel | November 11, 2012, 11:25 pm
    • The diagram looks very promising, it touches many lines of possible action but it still does not hint into the formation of a coherent operative line(s) of focus, seems disassociated, you have to work on the associations and blur those things that aren’t directly implicated in them. Im very interesting to see how it turns out.

      Posted by miguelroblesduran | November 12, 2012, 1:33 am

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