Looking specifically at three projects presented by the festival in 2017, Poems at the Pump, Haiku on Road Signs, and Offerings, this project attempts to understand if and how solidary is achieved through these projects, the array of social and spatial issues the projects are tackling, and their potential challenges and shortcomings.
By Cesar Castro, Harvard GSD
In the past, poetry has been utilized in a variety of urban settings to incentivize civic engagement, activate underutilized spaces, and foster spaces for creativity. In the context of Miami, the “O, Miami Festival” has pushed the boundary in combining poetry, the built environment, and pressing social issues of community members. In that process, poets and organizers have managed to create new spaces of solidarity within the City of Miami.
Looking specifically at three projects presented by the festival in 2017, Poems at the Pump, Haiku on Road Signs, and Offerings, this project attempts to understand if and how solidary is achieved through these projects, the array of social and spatial issues the projects are tackling, and their potential challenges and shortcomings. Then, using the practical and theoretical framework established by these poetry-based spatial set of interventions, the project imagines a new set of initiatives and design-oriented ideas that may continue to expand the current work of the O, Miami Poetry Festival into low-income neighborhoods. Such interventions will rely heavily on case studies of poetry in place found across the U.S. and elsewhere, the musings and literary aspirations of this under accomplished poet in the form of a sample chapbook, and the lessons gleaned from the previous work already being done in the City of Miami.
Cesar Castro is a dual degree candidate of Urban Planning and Design Studies at the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University. Prior to his time at Harvard, he received his MFA in Poetry from North Carolina State University under the mentorship of poet and translator John Balaban. He has worked as a public affairs and community development expert for organizations in Boston, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Colombia.
Spaces of Solidarity is initiated, developed and curated by FAST: Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory and generously supported by The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation and Harvard Graduate School of Design
Cristina Ampatzidou, Galit Eilat
Malkit Shoshan, Pelin Tan
Visual artist and graphics: