The Transmission Affect’s role within forceful evicted Harlem neighborhoods #powertothepeople #enddepression #Brennan #Bennet

During my walk around Harlem neighborhoods I began to not only pay attention to buildings that have eviction notices on the door, but also examining the emotions that people carry when walking in and out of the buildings. I became interested, and more or less affected by their feeling of depression and sadness. Before walking into Harlem, I read Teresa Brennan’s article about the Transmission of Affect. How the environment can alter and affect a groups mental state or perception of reality.

I wondered when walking if I was being affected by the transmission affect of their sadness and depression as they search for new feasible living arrangement? I didn’t retain the same emotion I had on the subway ride to Harlem. The biochemistry communication that happens when people are exposed to this transmission is unforeseen and unpredictable . The lack of verbal and visual communication is astonishing when examining the widespread collective mentality that Harlem has.

Working with the P.A.L.A.N.T.E (People Against Landlord Abuse & Tenant Exploitation)  group I realized that the most of Harlem is well aware of what plans the mayor is trying to implement in order to create “ more housing opportunities.” Brennan argues how the transmission affect comes with collective emotions, she argues that it affects people within crowd and groups within a community. She states that “at this level; the energetic effects of others enter the person, and the person’s affects, in turn, are transmitted to the environment” (5). Specifically, Black and Hispanics residents of Harlem are being forcefully evicted in order to fulfill a specific agenda. We see that the community has collectively taken a newly widespread mental depression. The organization was formed because individuals could no longer withstand the environments mental effect on people.

Bennet also argues the theory of a foundational fantasy which she describes it to be “a mental activity that allow us to alter an unpleasant reality by making it into something more pleasurable” (8). This can be seen as a coping mechanism done by groups who aren’t affected by this new set of plans or are oblivious to the communities that it is affecting. The wealthier individuals within this community that don’t share similar backgrounds; understand that more housing opportunities that are that are being offered, means more opportunities for economic growth with newly developed luxury buildings.

In Jane Bennet’s Preface, Chapters 1 & 2 in Vibrant Matter, she argues Adorno’s theory of the negative dialectics which is used in ordered to deal with discomforting experiences. Adorno states that oftentimes people would exercise their utopian imagination. Within the utopian imagination certain identities that resides within the newly formed society would be ignored and denied. This theory and ideas are prevalent when examine the transformation of Harlem and the enforced eviction policies that have been recently implemented.

By: De’yon Smith

Brennan, Teresa. The Transmission of Affect. Cornell University Press, 2004.

Bennett, Jane, 1957-. Vibrant Matter : a Political Ecology of Things. Durham :Duke University Press 2010

~ by deyonsmith on September 23, 2019.