Notebook on Cities and Culture
(Formerly The Marketplace of Ideas.) Colin Marshall sits down for in-depth conversations with cultural creators, internationalists, and observers of the urban scene all around Los Angeles and beyond.
S3E16: Autobiology with Kurt Hollander

Colin Marshall sits down in Mexico City's Colonia Condesa with Kurt Hollander, photographer, filmmaker, magazine editor, and author of Several Ways to Die in Mexico City: An Autobiography. They discuss his microbiologically informed view of life; the presence of death in Mexico, especially since people there now die developed-world deaths and, to an extent, developing-world deaths; his first enjoyment of Mexico's working-class culture, and his perspective, as an American, on American cultural encroachment; his earlier life on New York's Lower East Side, a barrio which prepared him for the one-huge-barrio that is Mexico City; the importance of "doing New York right" to subsequently spending time in other major cities; what he learned publishing the magazine The Portable Lower East Side; what kind of immigration makes a place more interesting, and what kind of immigration makes a place less so; how moving to Mexico City presented him the greatest learning curve of his life; when, and how, he got sick and didn't seem like he would get better; how danger makes culture, which he considers to be the accumulation of survival strategies; what it means to adapt to a culture, and what bearing doing so has on your survival; his strategies for seeking out the remaining strongholds of working-class culture, such as riding the Metro and exploring the miniature economies that grow in its stations; the importance of the pulqueria, and other places Mexicans warn foreigners away from; and how he has never felt in harm's way in Mexico City, despite respecting nothing, criticizing everything, and always going with the more dramatic story.

Direct download: NCC_S3E16_Kurt_Hollander.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:58pm UTC