As the world shut down, I was able to start a few new projects and hobbies. Firstly, I moved back in with my parents to their new home and lived there until it was warm enough for the cottage. I adopted a puppy. I started running a lot more and easing myself into long distance more regularly. And I got a new social media content creation position. Most importantly, I started to re-watch the OC again. Lastly, I moved into the cottage and get to experience the usual beautiful day at the cottage over and over.
As I live at the cottage, I am working on my MA thesis. My project’s focus is on the sounds of the cottage and what they represent. I have been reading a lot about sound studies, and multiple dwelling. My research is situated between these two topics. I am currently reading a wonderful book called A Timeless Place: The Ontario Cottage by Julia Harrison. Harrison is a a former professor at Trent University nearby in Peterborough. The book focuses on the experience of being a Haliburton cottager. It is enlightening, captivating and alarming all at once.
Although I love this place, researching it and problematizing it has taken away some of its appeal. Like these photos of a beautiful day at the cottage in late August show, it is a lovely place, with a multitude of wonderful aspects. However, it is also inaccessible, white and privileged.
Are you interested in learning more? I have a lot of recommendations on where to start! Today, more than ever, it is important to interrogate and be critical of certain spaces. That being said, the history of cottage country is fascinating, and intricately tied to colonialism and nationalist propaganda. Secondly, cottages are also tied to mobility, leisure and access. Who wouldn’t want to experience it? Just look at that beautiful blue sky and crisp, sparkling water. In saying so, it’s more of a question of who can’t, who isn’t allowed, who is unacceptable. Who can afford to experience? Who is safe to do so?
Working on a big project like my thesis has been exciting. I know it will make the transition from summer to student life much easier for this crazy year ahead. For now, enjoy some beautiful pictures and things to think about.
Keep an eye out for some photos of Quebec City coming up over the next few weeks too. I want to buy a new lens but I live in the boonies so it will have to wait.