Constructing Tent City: Media representations of Oppenheimer Park


  • Tara Jankovic



This paper explores the role of media representations in constructing the landscape of Vancouver’s inner-city. Emphasizing how landscape is discursively created, this paper analyzes the imposition of socio-spatial realities on the Downtown Eastside. Focusing on the 2019 tent city at Oppenheimer Park, I explore how processes of territorial stigmatization, dispossession, and the erasure of disorderly bodies are directly related to media representations. Building off Blomley & Liu’s (2013) work, I use a framing analysis to shed light on the dominant narratives used in local news reporting on tent city. As outlined by Entman (1993), framing analysis illuminates how certain pieces of information are highlighted to enhance the probability that receivers will perceive and process it. Often used for political purposes, framing is a powerful tool which can influence and shape public opinion. Three prominent frames were found in this research; criminalization, socialization, and disruption.