I usually get inspired by music. I often find myself thinking the strangest thoughts in the most random moments and places after listening to a particular melody, riff or the words of a carefully worded song.
This evening is not the exception. Basic Space by The xx came on just now and I remember waking up early on a very cold Sunday February morning in my friend’s apartment in Chicago. I got up and walked to the window to observe the cold winter morning and the Chicagoans making their way through the city’s streets.
As a visitor, it is always fascinating to see how a different community works. Different actors interrelate in particular ways, creating distinct dynamics and a certain flavor to their group. Every community is a living organism, ever-evolving and of unique complexity.
So, Basic Space. What do we understand by this? Is this merely geography or is it something more? It is definitely much more about discursive space; basic space is really more about the place for ideas to be explored. As a community, what is our basic space? How free is it? How large is it? How safe is it?
All of these questions cannot be easily responded, yet they shed light on different aspects of our communities and highlight the weaker points that we must work, as a group, to strengthen. Thus, community building is not a prerequisite for the existence of community. Community building is a never-ending process, because a community can always be better. A community can always do more justice. A community can always become more inclusive. It is never a fait accompli.
Basic space is where we find meaning as a community, a sense of belonging. What are we doing to create basic space that is accessible by everyone in the community?