This work has been inspired by theories of the City. These theories are outlined in both classical (c.f. Ferdinand Tönnies and Georg Simmel) as well as contemporary social theory (c.f. Manuel Castells and Saskia Sassen). My work, however, has been primarily inspired by Simmel’s approach to spatial analysis.
In general, Simmel alludes to the objective structures that confront and paralyse the individual element of our humanity. A particular motif in his work is an exploration of why for the individual Urban Spaces facilitate greater self-expression than Rural Spaces. With this broad theme in mind, I have sought to illuminate how the individual might articulate her/his desire for freedom in contemporary society.
Specifically, I have sought to communicate people’s ability to express themselves more freely in the City with its cosmopolitan aura, as opposed to the traditional aura of rural life. In consequence, I have documented a ‘Legalise Marijuana&rsquo protest march held in Cork City in April 2010. For these protestors, I suggest that the Urban Space of the City provides the individual with the creative medium as well as a stage for politicised self-expression played out here in a public protest.