This time our dating event opens a space for exploring the relationship between the transformation of the city and the emotions of sadness and anxiety.
Present-day cities are changing so fast that sometimes we cannot even notice. Where only yesterday there was a seedy pub, an underground club, or a popular corner shop, suddenly there is a café with “homemade” cakes, a barbershop, or a dilapidated house with empty shop windows. What do we lose when old eateries and pubs disappear? What do we feel when a place we were used to functioning in is lost? A threat to our familiar lives, a false nostalgia, a sense of loss, or something else entirely?
We are often used to thinking about the urban environment that surrounds us in terms of utilitarian functions, which we strictly separate from what is happening inside us. Over the course of the evening, we will talk about how these things can be connected, how our state of mind doesn't just reside within us but is also shaped by the things around us and how we relate to them, what they enable or prevent us to do. The evening will consist of a lecture and sharing, and we might also try to create mental maps of the places we live in and maybe even get a sense of what is happening to our cities.
Our dating event is a place where sadness can be talked about, where sadness is a legitimate and often necessary response to all sorts of life and social circumstances.
The evening will be hosted by Alžběta Medková, a journalist who focuses on the transformation of the city, especially of old pubs and railway station pubs, and Jakub Černý, who explores mental health and social change in the context of the right to the city and the right to housing. Jakub Černý is also the main organiser of the Dating for People with Grief series.
Alžběta Medková writes and films about cities (among other things) for Radio Wave, the cultural fortnightly A2, Alarm and other media. She produces Spot, an urban magazine about events in cities today for Radio Wave. She has a soft spot for old pubs, cafeterias, and train station pubs, about which she writes on the vagus.cz blog and has co-published two books.
Jakub Černý is a psychologist, social worker, and therapist. He has worked in various positions in the non-profit and government sectors in the areas of drugs, addictions, and mental health. As a supervisor, lecturer and activist he supports projects related to social change and emancipation of people with former drug experience, e.g., in the Street Support project. Jakub is one of the founding members of Narativ in which he has long been involved in the development of collaborative and dialogic practice in the Czech Republic, and in structural and political aspects of mental health, including in the context of the struggle for the right to the city and the right to housing.