<body> Public Ad Campaign: Kropotkin after the Paris Commune
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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Kropotkin after the Paris Commune

speaking of the Paris of 1877, six years after the fall of the Paris Commune and the restoration of privilege, Kropotkin observed that, "Year in and year out thousands of children grow up in the midst of the moral and material filth of our great cities, in the midst of a population demoralized by hand to mouth living....Their home is a wretched lodging today, the streets tomorrow.... And at the other end of the ladder, what does the child growing up on the streets see? Luxury, stupid and insensate, smart shops, reading matter devoted to exhibiting wealth, a money-worshiping cult developing a thirst for riches, a passion for living at the expense of others."

Kropotkin speaks of a time not so long ago which describes our current city with impressive accuracy. Of particular interest to me is his idea that amidst the luxury is reading material devoted to this wealth which I think has strong parallels to our city and its devotion to public advertising culture. Specialty shops and high end restaurants, rents that are unaffordable by even middle income families all amidst the a flurry of "public reading material". Advertising provides the imagery that reflects how we wish to use our city and what we wish to use it for. How does one think about life when commerce is all that is available to look at. Our devotion to necessity is painted on the walls of our city.


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      Miriam Greenberg
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      Naomi Klein
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      Kalle Lasn
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      Stuart Ewen
      Captains of Consciousness

      Stuart Ewen
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      Stuart & Elizabeth Ewen
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      Jeff Ferrell
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      Jeff Ferrell
      Tearing Down the Streets

      John Berger
      Ways of Seeing

      Joe Austin
      Taking the Train

      Rosalyn Deutsche
      Evictions art + spatial politics

      Jane Jacobs
      Death+Life of American Cities