Reading Summary #2: Irina Nersessova – “Tapestry of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton’s Photography of a Forgotten New York
Upon reading Nersessova’s article, I was continuously under the impression of how much she saw promise and the ability for to adapt to life’s sometime harsh conditions for the people of the underground urban communities. Almost everyone has a negative connotation on the “homeless” and less fortunate but even through the trials and tribulations that these people face on a daily basis they still seem to find ways to relate themselves almost adjacently to the people who live a life some people would call privileged.
The people of the underground communities took metal, trash, unwanted items to mix together some sort of structure to call a “home”. This is the most moving part of this article because it clearly shows the ability for someone who is presumed to be homeless to actually have and create a place of their own. This feeling of ownership gives the person a feeling of hope and security blanket to know they still have a place that is theirs. In my opinion, it is a feeling of overcoming adversity. Even though the deck is stacked against the individual they still find a way to believe and move forward. This ability to create is proof that even though you might be homeless, you can still have a home.
Secondly, and in comparison, this idea of being able to find a home while being homeless is also shown in excerpt #12; Morton, The Tunnel 41. Here Manny states, “I feel safe in the tunnel because I don’t care how big you are — even if you have a gun or a weapon — if you don’t know where you’re going or if you never been in there — it has no light, no types of light.” Here he finds security in something that would be more often than not a sign of terror/horror to the normal everyday privileged individual, but for someone who has been forced to adhere and mold their everyday life to their conditions, they are able to find peace in the darkness. It is moving to read these stories because it shows that everyone is going through certain conditions or ideas of loneliness that can always be broken down into a feeling of want or acceptance.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. This saying is very well know and a seemed to be repeated theme throughout this article. Nersessova was simply showing how everyone is cut from the same cloth and just because someone is forced to live in an unfavorable condition that they do not yearn for the same basic principles of self-worth that people with fortunate lives take for granted. The tunnel people are able to see the good in a bad situation and persevere through the tough times.