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Alley Atlas: from non-place to place in six maps


Alley Atlas: from non-place to place in six maps

Novkovic, Anja (2019) Alley Atlas: from non-place to place in six maps. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Activators and the general public view commercial alleyways as “non-places”—they seem to lack a sense of history, relationality, and identity, and therefore a sense of place (Augé, 1995). In this study, I use a phenomenological understanding of place to explore the potential place-ness of the Bishop/Mackay alleyway, a commercial backstreet in downtown Montreal. I use the same concept to map personal stories associated with this alleyway and to better understand the deeper sense of place this particular alley holds. Using a research-creation process, ethnographic methods, inductive visualisation, and deep mapping lead me to my Alley Atlas. Through it, I argue that the alley’s meaning consists of its ability to house shadow-like expressions of the human condition, and connect people and places. Because of its non-judgemental quality, this alley creates a safe haven for a myriad of taboo behaviours, like crying, having a mental breakdown, smoking, using drugs, drinking alcohol, and spray-painting. Secondly, I argue that inductive visualisation and deep mapping are compelling and complementary approaches to the visualisation of meaning in an alleyway; while the former functions as a method of extracting meaning and visualising it, the latter creates a container within which to move from superficial to deeper representations and understandings of place, housing both place and non-place qualities. Finally, I arrive at the conclusion that, while the alley’s identity depends on who is looking at it and how, viewers of my Alley Atlas might see that it is inherently a place.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Novkovic, Anja
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:11 November 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Caquard, Sébastien
Keywords:alley, atlas, inductive visualization, deep mapping, cartography
ID Code:986175
Deposited On:20 Jul 2022 13:25
Last Modified:20 Jul 2022 13:25
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