Creating a New World From Dreams

Posted: May 8, 2011 by scastaneda in Uncategorized


Exploring the way we paint pictures in our minds of places we have familiarized ourselves with is something Michele Foucault tried to accomplish.  Heterotopias are the places our thoughts and dreams reside while they are waiting to connect to our own reality.  Further research into heterotopic places have brought me to a place where I have analyzed heterotopias within a new settlement in particular the way immigrants have settled into the United States and have planted their roots.  In the process of starting a new life, aspects of past life and culture have made their way into their new communities.  An analysis of Mexican American Immigrants and the connection with their culture have brought me to a new “dream city” in Los Angeles.  This place is El Pueblo de Los Angeles also known as La Placita Olvera.


Heterotopic spaces are manifested within a community.  People of similar ethnic groups come together to make their own communities and infuse those communities with aspects of what they know to be “home”.  Heterotopia  is a term conceived by Michel Foucault to describe two separate spaces in time that allow the person to experience the same thing.  There are 5 principles associated with heterotopias that illustrate the physical or mental imaginative space within the human experience.  Utopian spaces are the real spaces we experience every day.  heterotopian spaces are the spaces in between the real ones that act as a highway or temporary place for our thoughts of a space to reside.

Without the thoughts that we assemble about spaces those spaces wouldn’t have the meaning attached to what we know about them.  The way that we perceive a space ultimately gives it its place in the world and its meaning about what makes it the way it is.

“Everyone can enter into the new heterotopic sites, but in fact that is only an illusion-we think we enter where we are, by the very fact that we enter, excluded.” –Foucault


Bienvenidos! Welcome to – Culture, and the Arts. Web. 03 May 2011. <;.

Foucault, Michel. Of Other Spaces (1967) Heterotopias.

“L.A. NOW | Census/Demographics | Los Angeles Times.” Top of the Ticket | Congress to Discuss Use of Geronimo’s Name in Bin Laden Mission | Los Angeles Times. Web. 03 May 2011. <;.

“Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles Facts & History: Los Angeles, CA.” Famous Wonders of the World: Best Places to Visit, See Travel Pictures. Web. 03 May 2011. <;.

“Olvera Street Los Angeles | Flickr – Photo Sharing!” Welcome to Flickr – Photo Sharing. Web. 03 May 2011. <;.

“Placita Olvera Map.” Your Page Title. Web. 03 May 2011. <;.

Rogers, Tim B. “Henri Lefebvre, Space and Folklore.” The Free Library. 2002. Web. 03 May 2011. <;.


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