Bates, Catherine (2013) Sustainable Urban Foragings in the Canadian Metropolis: Rummaging through Rita Wong’s Forage and Nicholas Dickner’s Nikolski. British Journal of Canadian Studies, 26 (2). pp. 191-212. ISSN 0269-9222

Foraging and dumpster diving are two activities now associated with a kind of environmentally-conscious social activism engaged in by people wanting to live sustainably through maintaining a close connection with their local environment; the former is generally associated with nature, the latter with the urban. Wong's poetry collection and Dickner's novel, both featuring those who scavenge within their urban environment, enable a connection to be made between these activities; to label dumpster diving 'urban foraging' is to make clear the way the dumpster diver helps us to interrogate the urban/nature binary. This article uses Michel de Certeau's 'Walking in the City', in particular, to think through Wong and Dickner's figurations of the two Canadian metropolises: Vancouver and Montreal. These cities become places of subversive urban foraging; the garbage becomes transformed through renewed visibility, while in turn the urban space is re-made, potentially, as a place of sustainable possibility.

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