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Humanities 2018, 7(2), 33;

Gleaning and Dreaming on Car Park Beach

English Department, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 5UZ, UK
Received: 13 January 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
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This article explores beachcombing and gleaning as practices that combine mobility with daydreaming and which allow us to experience our environment with the perception of ‘tactile nearness’ (Benjamin). Through eco-poetics shaped by ‘inconceivable analogies and connections’ (Benjamin), the author re-imagines a neglected space used as a short-cut on the way to work—the Liverpool Adelphi car park in Liverpool—as “Car Park Beach”. Inspired by the situationists’ slogan ‘Sous les pavés, la plage’, the author argues that Car Park Beach opens up imaginative possibilities for a different form of ecological encounter with our own precarity, one ushered in by a ‘close-up’ awareness of how waste transforms our world. Car Park Beach is a site that the author associates with the drift-like, distracted movements of both people and matter, and this article therefore attempts to deploy an equivalent method of analysis. Drawing on her own practice of gleaning photos and objects on the way to work, the author places a vocabulary of flotsam and jetsam at the axis of her discussion. Allusive, often layered, connections are followed between a diverse range of sources including beachcombing guides, literary memoirs, documentary films, eco-criticism, and auto-ethnography. View Full-Text
Keywords: gleaning; beachcombing; daydreaming; waste matter; refrain; Agnès Varda; haptic looking; eco-poetics gleaning; beachcombing; daydreaming; waste matter; refrain; Agnès Varda; haptic looking; eco-poetics

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Croft, J. Gleaning and Dreaming on Car Park Beach. Humanities 2018, 7, 33.

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