Institut für Volkskunde/ Europäische Ethnologie
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The “feel-good” city: Politics and Places of Wellbeing, SoSe2014

Instructor: Dr. Asli Duru
Tutor: Till Schmidt

The “Feel good” City is a weekly seminar on the role of space and place as social and physical determinants of wellbeing in urban environments. As city residents, our sense of urban settings results from our constant movement in place as physical/biological/social bodies. The weekly readings and discussions critically addressed processes of social power transforming places and experiences of wellbeing in the city. The course was visual-intensive and “visited” parks, spas, bridges, friends’ kitchens, yoga studios, religious spaces, restaurants and shopping malls to problematize the role of space and place in experiencing wellness and health.

The overall class time was divided in two. The weekly tutorium was designed as a “Werkstatt” for the course where the students worked in groups as well as with the tutor to further seminar themes, concepts and “apply” this input using photography and visual narrative to develop group projects.

The group portfolios presented here are one of the major student outputs for the seminar. There were no exams in this class. The overall workload included: active class (both seminar and tutorium) participation, weekly feedback on assigned material, and two major projects: an urban photography “group portfolio” and an individual “photo essay”.

Production of portfolios
Working in groups of 3-4, students picked a theme and worked towards a final group portfolio. The tutorium was the main outlet for portfolio development, production of photographs, and editing. The in-class activities and outings were scheduled to foster a fieldwork-style experience to gain hands-on experience in an interactive group environment.

The portfolios

  • (E)motions by Efrossina Daltcheva, Theresa Garmaier, Linda Mutschlechner and Qingyang Xie