A Not-so Didactic Didactic
Cities are built, but they are also imagined, dreamed, traded and trafficked. Within the confluence of global urbanization, the structures and strategies of one place get mapped onto the ground of another. In the process, individual cities find themselves shaped by an interurban flow of ideas and capital—local aspirations give way to capricious international agenda. Maraya casts us into a moment in this ongoing social production. Growing out of nearly five years of research on an emergent global nexus of urban waterfronts in Vancouver, Canada and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Maraya seeks opportunities to engage with the construction of urban environments that are half a world apart, separated culturally and geographically. In so doing, we set out to address the patterns of neighbourliness that stretch across and weave together difficult socio-cultural distances. This multifaceted artwork uses imagery and video, dialogue and exchange, to mirror the interlinking of Vancouver's False Creek and the Dubai Marina. Maraya is a mirror, a foil; its momentary reflections glimpse a new 21st century global city. Maraya is also a platform, bit of code, mobile kit, connection, and gathering.