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Public Discourse (2020)
Safe in Public Space Bentway Proposal

Collaborator: New Currency, Kazeem Kuteyi, Manny Adarkwah

Team: Reza Nik, Ghazal Elmizadeh
A home as an intimate space,
A home as a public space,
A public space as a home,
A public space as an intimate space.

We’ve all spent more time in our homes during this pandemic than ever before, some with pleasant experiences and others with  increased anxiety and discomfort.  Sharing stories and having conversations about our struggles is what has kept many of us hopeful during this unprecedented year.  Gathering virtually and physically (more recently) have become more healing than ever before.

This proposal aims to bring the intimacy of home, into the public realm to create a safe space for conversations, storytelling and sharing of knowledge.  This tiny ‘home-like’ pavilion will be large enough to house 2-3 people while being used for a variety of activities programmed in collaboration with New Currency.  We will be hosting a podcast series and broadcasting conversations with racialized youth and the larger community about their sense of safety in public space. We also see the space being used as a focal point for various livestreamed musical events to encourage communities from outside the downtown core to the Bentway.  

The physical space is meant to act as a recognizable marker with its bright color and scrolling marquee sign communicating the status of the space. We think it could be a space which could also be booked by the community to work in when not used for recordings or streaming.  It’s meant to be a flexible space and depending on the feedback from the community, we are happy to adjust the programming.  The main desire for this proposal is to increase accessibility to public spaces for racialized communities.