Why are we so divided by walls?


Feb. 9/19

Whether they separate your cubicle at work, your apartment from another, or two nations - we all have to deal with walls on a daily basis.

And what about the emotional barriers we build up and take down?

This week, DNTO looks at our complicated relationship with the things that separate us. Read on to find out what's on the show.


CAMH for web.jpgTo start with, Sook-Yin visits the walls of CAMH - the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. Surrounding the grounds of CAMH are the remnants of towering brick walls, built in 1860 when it was called the Provincial Lunatic Asylum. Sook-Yin's guide to CAMH is Geoffrey Rheaume, who wrote a book about the centre's history, Remembrance of Patients Past. And as someone who was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teen and confined behind the walls of a psychiatric hospital himself, Geoffrey knows what it's like to be behind those walls. He'll share his experiences, and what he learned about CAMH, with us. (Left: Geoffrey and Sook-Yin at CAMH, and an inscription carved into the wall: "Born To Be Murdered.")

Most of us know what it's like to live in a shared space - like an apartment block - with extremely thin walls separating us from our neighbours. But how much do you really know about the person on the other side of that wall? And how do you communicate with them through that wall? Heather Jordan Ross tells us about dealing with the "noisy neighbour." The only hitch is... the "noisy neighbour" was her.

Deadboy for web.jpgYou see it on  the walls of abandoned buildings, highway underpasses, and maybe even your own garage. Graffiti is the source of endless controversy among urbanites. Sook-Yin will chat with Deadboy, one of Canada's most political, and prolific, street artists about the boundaries of public art. (Left: Some of Deadboy's work.)

hannah georgas.jpg
Hannah Georgas will tell us about the emotional wall that inspired her song "Somebody" - and play the tune for us, live in studio.

How have you taken down an emotional wall? Sook-Yin Lee turns the mic over to you for your stories.

Chances are, you're not too far away from a wall... or four.  We don't really think about them on a regular basis. But what is it like to live in an area that is completely dominated by a physical barrier? Sook-Yin will find out from Marcello DiCintio, the author of Walls: Travels along the Barricades.

You know the old saying -"if these walls could talk..." But what happens when the walls really do send you a message? Jesse Wells tells us her story of a hidden message from the other side of the wall...

Kiersten.jpgMost bathroom graffiti is trivial at best. But in the third stall of a second-floor women's washroom at Western University, something was written on a bathroom wall that hit the hearts of well over a million people Kierston Drier tells us how she became the "bathroom stall angel".

Like most first time home owners, Peggy McKewon and her husband were extremely nervous when they finally made the move to buy a house. But then they found the perfect four walls to call their own - they thought. Turns out at least one of those walls wasn't so perfect...

Years back, Eddie Lee and his best friend, Mitch, thought they had found a steal when they secured a cheap, two bedroom apartment in San Francisco. However, they soon found out that when things seem too good to be true, they usually are... Eddie tells us the story behind the infamous "Shut Up, Little Man!" recordings.

New Year's Eve might just be the hardest night of the year to have a good time. Expectations are high and the pressure is on. And it only gets even worse when you're in Times Square and you find yourself stuck between a wall and a hard place... Deborah Jian Lee tells us her story.

And here's this week's music playlist:
Lights - "Where the Fence Is Low"
Florence and the Machine - "You've Got the Love"
Wool On Wolves - "Midnight Avenue"
Hannah Georgas - "Somebody" (live in studio)
Magneta Lane - Lucky
Hayden - "Dynamite Walls"
Nathan - "Discarded Debris"
Madness - "Our House"
Elise LeGrow - "No Good Woman"
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