Posthuman Writing

Discovered a very cool project that demonstrates, in my estimation, a good posthuman sense of purpose. The "Alley Garden Project" website has this description:
Our team has a plan to retrofit Albuquerque with the community-initiated green space it needs. A pilot project has already begun, and will continue into the summer, to demonstrate the potential of the idea. Our partnership will introduce community gardens into an unlikely but abundant space throughout the city--Albuquerque's alleys. We hope that these Alley Gardens will expand throughout our urban environment. The project will transform alleys into beautiful and productive spaces, nourishing our city by beautification and community investment. The Alley Gardens project will also enhance our city in many other ways: by empowering neighborhoods, and localizing food sources; by acknowledging our limitations with rainwater harvesting, and by reanalysis of our community's needs, we can raise the quality of life we experience in our city.
I like the use of the phrase "quality of life." It situates improvement within limitation. It counters some of the larger development usurpation of the "quality of life" mantras. Usually, this means divorcing oneself from the immediate ecology/environment through the use of generica (whatever cultural amenities are in vogue, including big boxes and restaurants) and then creating some sort of "retreat" (either through a McMansion with a "great room" and vaulted ceilings or some other nondescript collection of spatial significations of wealth). "Quality" here means getting to the alleys with broken glass, etc. and meeting the folks around and even trying to see what kind of stuff survives in "this weather."

What is doubly interesting to me is how this group has gotten the word out through press releases, grant applications, and even the aforementioned website. This is the kind of writing I expect my students to do and the kind of writing they can expect training for in their classes. Situating bodies, acknowledging contexts, and advocating for users in an unpredictable ecology.

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