Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hate/Love the City

Photos by Jonathan Dy
Last month, I was in an event put on by the Museum of Vancouver called "Vancouver, I love you but..."

Inspired by the work of Tobias Wong, MOV asked a group of us Vancouverites to rant about our grievances with one of the most livable cities in the world. The rants ranged from serious to humorous, somber to sarcastic. While I was honoured to share the stage with such wonderful people, the night was more about our relationship to the city than the people ranting themselves.

Hosted by our relationship counselor Andrianne, we ranted and then talked a bit more about what was behind our anger, despair, and frustration. Once we ranters has our turn, the audience had theirs: Adrienne ordered the lights out and, since we were in the planetarium, the stars up and over us. She asked us to shout our pain-points into the celestial abyss above, to propel them far away with the full power of our lungs - there wasn't a quiet voice in the house.
Photos by Jonathan Dy
We let out collective sigh and Adrianne brought up the sun. She read us a passage by Francis Bacon (I think  it's this one) as Barbara Adler played some soothing accordion. In this space, the audience was asked to fill in the blank: Vancouver, I love you because ________.

In a city that changes so quickly and aggressively, that is the focus of much media attention for being this or like that, we carry a lot of baggage. Rightfully so. There's a lot of hard work to be done but there are still many good and great things about Vancouver.

Sometimes, to love a city, you need to hate it.