Sunday, April 12, 2009

city[be]longing: the city love-hate relationship

Two years ago, Maia Hirasawa released her first album ”Though, I’m just me”. I listened to it over and over again, during the spring of 2007. I became especially curious about the tune “Gothenburg”, revealing her love-hate relationship to the city. It encouraged me in my quest to explore the emotional relationships one can have with the city, or just any place for that matter. Obviously, so did Maia; her newly released album is called GBGVSSTHLM.

“Gothenburg I came back to you
Now you be nice to me,
then I'll be nice to you
Gothenburg I thank you
You gave me someone to love,
and I really owe you”

Maia’s relationship to Gothenburg is clearly influenced by her love for a person. I believe, however, that we can have a love relationship with a city, that goes further and beyond our social relationships with people. I remember a discussion long ago, in a Swedish TV show (De lärde i Lund) and how upset I became by supposedly ‘wise men’ in unison claiming that “you cannot love a place”. I was a young girl; this was long before I even thought of becoming a researcher of place impact and city life. Nevertheless, their statement felt intuitively wrong as I listened to their arguments and reflected upon them. You can only love people and pets, they claimed. Not true, I said to myself. Many years later, I’m now trying to make actual sense of that gut feeling…


Anonymous said...

I love that song! (Iva)

evelina said...

OMG,IVA!! This song is also YOUR relationship to GBG.

Cool... ;)