Atmospheres of our Spaces

My bedroom is a very important space for me. I’ve had this bedroom my whole entire life since I moved to the United States of America from my birth country Bangladesh. It carries a lot of “artifacts” that have either a story or meaning behind them. But, there is one artifact in my bedroom that really stands out from all the other ones and that artifact is a picture of my parents. 

The artifact of the picture of my parents in my bedroom demonstrates how the atmosphere of a space can make you feel some type of way causing you to change the way you act. The picture of my parents in my room is a daily reminder of the sacrifice that my parents made for me and my siblings. They left their home country Bangladesh to come to the United States of America and left their whole family behind just so their kids could have a better future. They left their parents and their own brothers and sisters just for me and my siblings to get the opportunity to get an education that we wouldn’t have received in Bangladesh and for us to be in a safer environment since there is a lot of crime there due to politics. Being reminded of what they have done for us motivates me to do the best I can so I can make them proud and that the sacrifice they made wasn’t for nothing. Whenever I’m in the mood to give up looking at that picture not only makes me want to keep doing what I’m doing but it also makes me want to try harder and make them proud. With this picture in my bedroom, it makes the atmosphere of this space feel more motivating. Being able to see this picture whenever I walk into my room or wake up in the morning always makes me feel more motivated to do what I can and try my best just for my parents. 

Image via The Business Post

As I recall one of my peers recently talked about a space that he really enjoyed being in which is the game Valorant. But, the space he talked about isn’t as similar to my bedroom due to it being a space that’s not real but virtual. Even if it’s not a physical object like the picture of my parents there were artifacts in the game Valorant that impacted Joshua in a certain way just like my bedroom.

One of the artifacts that I remember Joshua bringing up that really impacted him was B Site in his game Valorant. This artifact in Joshua’s game also demonstrates how the atmosphere of a space can make you feel some type of way causing you to change the way you act, but not only in real spaces but also in virtual spaces as well. B Site is an area in the middle of the map of the game, where there is a wet dinghy tunnel, that when a player walks on it makes a wet splashing sound that can be heard throughout the map. The tunnels create a nervous atmosphere due to the risk that a player is going to be found or will they be able to sneak past through the tunnel without being sighted by other players. Joshua personally experienced moments like these when playing the game as he says that when he plays at this certain place of the map and due to the nervous atmosphere, he gets worried that other players will hear him making his way to the other side of the map. Or that when he hears others walking through the tunnel it makes him sneak up and try to eliminate them. Showing that even if he is not in that space physically he can still feel something due to the atmosphere of the game.

Image via Riot Games

In Garnette Cadogan’s essay “Walking While Black”, which is a narrative of how Cadogan moved through the streets of New Orleans and New York as a Black Jamaican man, Cadogan says “We want the freedom and pleasure of walking without fear—without others’ fear—wherever we choose.” When saying this Cadogan talks about how when walking in the streets of New Orleans or New York all he can feel in the atmosphere is fear. People are fearing him due to the color of his skin causing them to cross to the other side of the street when they see him coming or elder women tightening the grip of their purse when they walk past him. Or him fearing others like the police knowing that due to his skin color he looks like a threat no matter what he does.

And due to the fear, it causes him to change the way he moves through these spaces just so it can be a little different. He has to change the way he walks and talks, making rules for himself just so he can fit in and not be seen in a different way. “So I had to cobble together my own rules of engagement. Thicken my Jamaican accent. Quickly mention my college…assembling a cop-proof wardrobe. Light-colored oxford shirt. V-neck sweater. Khaki pants. Chukkas. Sweatshirt or T-shirt with my university insignia.”

“Father and Son,” from Ruddy Roye’s “When Living is Protest” series.

I also had a similar experience just like Cadogan in Bangladesh. When visiting my relatives in Bangladesh I am forced to do things like only speak Bengali which is the native language for Bangladesh to everyone even if it’s someone who can speak english fluently like my sister. This is because of the stereotype that everyone in Bangladesh has, which is that if you live in the United States that means you make a whole lot of money. And if I do speak in english I would be targeted. For example, if I’m at a store and they heard I was speaking English they would overcharge me because they would assume that I’m from a different country and won’t be familiar with the prices in Bangladesh.

The picture of my parents makes my bedroom feel more motivating which causes me to do things like not give up and try my best to make my parents proud. As well as in Joshua’s game when walking through B site the atmosphere makes him feel nervous which causes him to be sneaky to either pass through the tunnel without being spotted by other players or to try to eliminate them. Lastly, in Cadogan’s essay where he talks about how when walking through the streets of New Orleans or New York there’s only fear in the atmosphere, due to the way people react towards him, causing him to have to make rules for himself. Which also makes me think of how difficult it is for non-whites like Cadogan to walk in the United States. Seeing how no matter what they do even if they are just standing in the corner of a street, they will be looked and treated differently just because of their skin color. And when looking at these spaces and seeing that no matter what that space is, if it’s a bedroom, a game, or the streets of a city, it makes you think that the way we feel in the atmosphere and the environment around us is what causes us to act the way we do.

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