Posted June 25th 2013 at 3:48 am by
in Contested Space, From the Editor, Open Call

Find the Contested Space

In honor of Istanbul’s Gezi Park, CoLab Radio will publish a series of posts on contested public and private space this summer. Anyone is welcome to contribute a post.

Find the Contested Space

Graffiti in Gezi Park on May 30th, 2013. Photo by Elif Yasemin Azaz.

Here is how to participate:

1. Identify a space in your community that presents a conflict. The conflict can be current or past. It could be anything:

• A lot that stands empty when it could be used for something

• A wall that graffiti artists paint but authorities erase

• A piece of land tied up in a legal battle

• A place where animal or plant species thrive, but a human project harms their habitat

• Think about your community. What groups are competing for control over what spaces?

2. Take two photos of the space. Take one close-up photo and one wide-angle shot that shows the context. CoLab Radio only publishes original photos with the permission of the photographer.

3. Write 100 to 250 words describing the space. Your description should include:

• The location of this space.

• The conflict. Who wants to use this space, how do they want to use it, and why do they care?

• The date of the conflict. Is it happening right now? Or is it a space that was contested in the past, but is now established for specific uses?

Your description should NOT include:

• Your opinion. Present the basic facts and let readers form their own ideas about this space.

• Your own story. This isn’t a personal essay, so only include your life experiences if they are essential to describing this space.

The strength of this series depends on the diversity of locations represented. Please feel welcome to post from anywhere. Urban or rural, low income or high income. Any nation. We have posts from many places, but your idea is probably unique and important.

Email your post to Alexa at with the subject line “Contested space in _______.” Fill in the name of your town and country.

Finally, you’re welcome to submit a 30-second sound file if you want to show how the space sounds. If you have other documentation ideas, please email You are welcome to email with questions as well.

Posts are due by July 7, 2013.

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