“I want to understand the world from your point of view.
I want to know what you know in the way you know it.”
These words from the late James P. Spradley, a leading American anthropologist, could be used to describe the motivations behind an ethnographic project that took place earlier this year in a park at the centre of Montreal.
Nestled between the Grande Bibliothèque, Montreal Central Station, Metro Berri‑UQAM, and a few office towers, Place Émilie-Gamelin is a square of greenery at the very heart of the metropolis. According to Karoline Truchon, Scientific Director of Amplifier Montréal, “It is a microcosm of Montreal.”
Last August and September, a team of ethnographers met with some of the people who regularly gravitate to the park to hear their stories about the area, as well as the vision they have of the city.