One of the joys of being based in academe is the ceaseless flow of fresh ideas and here’s one of the best. I am invited to a workshop on ‘In-Between-ness’:
‘A Public Inconvenience’ will explore the experience and affect of public toilets in an urban environment, in this case Amsterdam. Through observation and engagement we will consider how public toilets are shaped by, and themselves shape, cultural practices, values, and attitudes. And further, how this essential part of the urban fabric contributes to the everyday experience we have of our cities.
This is the kind of press release that brings a flush of joy to the desperate news hack. Denied a decent leak story for weeks he can either pan the academics for their pretension or simply indulge in a diarhetic outburst of word-play. But this is serious stuff:
What do we miss by ignoring the fact that public toilets are also the site for a variety of social
Indeed, which is why I call on all of you to answer their call for contributions:
To be considered for participation, researchers and practitioners are invited to send us a compelling public toilet story (see The Stories section of the website for inspiration), an optional toilet photograph, a brief biography, and a short rationale outlining your interest in the workshop.
Please feel free to forward your toilet tales to me and I will gladly pass them on, as it were, to the organisers. I feel this is a story that will run and run.