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The old-school questions

Updated on July 14, 2017
Source

Earth

We survive in a wide diversity of natural environments, yet not passively. That is, we endure by having a profound impact in them.

"The mistake was to believe
the Earth was ours,

when in fact
we were from the Earth."

Nicanor Parra

The word “green”

Take the University of California at Berkeley, for instance. UC Berkeley is considering the idea - again - of using green three-acre People’s Park as a site for development. Yes, again. In 1969, what is regarded to be the most violent confrontation in UC Berkeley was triggered by this idea; an armed confrontation between police, students, and local residents that left one man dead, one blind, and wounded over 100 people. Nowadays, if the word “green” is used as metaphor for environmental ethics, that struggle to create a park for the people is remembered.

Community gardens inside People's Park
Community gardens inside People's Park

The proposal

The proposal under consideration today is a result of increasing demands by homeless students - some that attempt to live in academic buildings - and seeks to provide long-term indigent housing with services, as well as an open space and a memorial to the People’s Park history.

The old-school questions

Nonetheless, the old-school questions remain unanswered:

I. To which magnitude is the well-being of human beings related to the environments in which they live?

II. To what extent is it linked to the kind of relationships human beings have with those environments?

III. How can we adapt to the eventualities in the physical conditions we ALL cause in them?

Part of a mural painted in 1976 depicting the movements that defined Berkeley in the 60's  and the struggle accompanying the creation of People's Park
Part of a mural painted in 1976 depicting the movements that defined Berkeley in the 60's and the struggle accompanying the creation of People's Park

© 2017 Aydasara Ortega

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