Anja Novkovic is a Croatian-born, Vancouver-raised writer, researcher, and poet. She has a background in social anthropology and ethnographic research methods. Her primary interests revolve around the intersections between personal narratives and public space. Her writing also deals with the themes of sexuality, the divine feminine, displacement, and diaspora.
The Storied City: Montreal
‘The Storied City: Montreal’ is a project dealing with the intersections between personal narratives and public space. It consists of edited interviews done with people of all backgrounds in the actual places where their personal stories take place. These include: a break up story on the west side of Parc la Fontaine, the story of a man’s first kiss with an engaged woman on Ile Sainte Helene, and a woman’s story of finding a sense of home while walking up and down a section of Blvd. Saint Laurent.
In its final product, The Storied City: Montreal will be a guide to Montreal through story.
The motivation for this project comes from the understanding that as we move through spaces, particularly urban spaces, we internally map our surroundings based on the experiences – or stories – we have in those spaces. A book that already embeds these (public) spaces with story allows newcomers to experience the city on a deeper level.
Furthermore, I am focusing this project on public space in particular because I believe it needs to be protected. Public spaces are so easily discarded today in the name of development. They are labelled as ‘unused’ or ‘unnecessary’ and thus unimportant. By embedding these spaces with story, they are given a voice and a protective value.
The Storied City: Montreal will also be represented in the form of installations and potentially performance and film.