Tuesday, February 01, 2005

durham3- The Manifesto!!

durham3 is a group that intends to use Durham’s physical and philosophical third space positioning to support arts and artists in the Triangle and help build a Durham renown for its creative culture. Raleigh is know for its spoken word and music communities; Chapel Hill and Carrboro offer an outstanding music scene, several traditional poetry groups, and a bourgeoning film society. Durham though, despite the presence of many talented artists of all kinds, has yet to define its own cultural identity. Previously, groups have attempted to impose a cultural definition on Durham from the outside, attempting to build Durham in the image of another city. durham3 believes the Durham cultural community needs to find an organic definition for itself, one that rises from the inside, not one that is imposed from the outside. In an attempt to help build that definition, durham3 begins by focusing on the “third” characteristics of Durham’s physical location (in-between Raleigh and Chapel Hill/Carrboro) and psychic space (no one, already set and prominent art scene). Durham third space qualities mean it can serve as a meeting ground outside dichotomies where existing factions can meet, share influences, and eventually, build something new, something third, something unique to Durham.

-Durham has an already existing art and cultural scene. It also has a population that includes numerous talented artists. The city’s cultural identity does not need to be invented wholesale, nor should it be imposed through already existing templates formed elsewhere. Instead, Durham has the ability to define itself, internally and organically, thanks to work previously done by other artists and groups. durham3 sees itself as a continuation of this work and not its origin or culmination.

- durham3 intends to enable this self-definition and make it unique to Durham by focusing on Durham’s outsider, “third” qualities- the city’s physical location in the Triangle and its hybrid population. Durham is not simply a professional or factory town, an academic or working class town, a gay or straight town, a conservative or progressive town, a black or white town. It is a place that encompasses both sides of these dichotomies and therefore, becomes something beyond those pairings, creating and occupying a new, third space.

- An integral part of Durham building its own, unique cultural definition is the continued and responsible growth of Durham’s downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. durham3 hopes to contribute to that growth by hosting events in a different small business and/or neighborhood each time. In order to build an accurate cultural definition that truly reflects a community, it is necessary to know all of Durham and bring residents of different areas into dialogue. Similarly, durham3 intends to support Durham’s small businesses as a means of encouraging the people of Durham to build their own definition, not accept the pre-made definitions inherent in large corporations and chain stores.

- Under a regime driven by a need for conformity and uniformity, durham3 defines supporting durham3 artists and attending durham3 events as an act of resistance. Encouraging and participating in Durham finding its own cultural identity and definition outside of already acceptable boundaries and classifications is a political, revolutionary act.


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