THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, INTO BATTLEFIELD HERONGATE: REFLECTING ON A SITE IN CRISIS AS AN OUTSIDER

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Title: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, INTO BATTLEFIELD HERONGATE: REFLECTING ON A SITE IN CRISIS AS AN OUTSIDER
Authors: Saxena, Astha
Date: 2021
Abstract: This paper looks into the story of Herongate, a site to be gentrified in Ottawa, Canada, to understand what home means for the people experiencing displacement due to Gentrification. Herongate is a stigmatized and racialized neighbourhood in Ottawa. Herongate is comprised primarily of the economically weaker section of society. The people have battled for tenant rights and against forced displacement since 2016. Several factors have been involved in how this battle has played out. Foucault’s concepts of heterotopias explain that the “untamed urban spaces” are tools to contain spaces of crisis and uphold the illusions of urban utopia. The urban discourses are often selective in what they acknowledge about urban lives. The strengths of poorer neighbourhoods often go unacknowledged. People who peek into these heterotopias of urban poverty are limited by their prisms that are shaped by these urban illusions. The paper employs self-reflection as the method to understand how outsiders understand housing injustice and how labels of immigrant visible minorities affect such spaces. Since the author is an international student from India, the paper compares the urban poor in Ottawa and cities across India, discovering the limitations of the author’s prisms as an outsider. Herongate’s newsletter, Herongate’s public meetings and the scholarly works about Herongate weave a complicated but inspiring story about what has happened at Herongate and how the tenants battled evictions. The paper traverses the narratives built different mediums, trying to understand the limits of an outsider's perspective.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/42824
CollectionÉtudes sociologiques et anthropologiques - Mémoires // Sociological and Anthropological Studies - Research Papers
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