I have done very minimal work on the tiny house, and have been only furtively progressing with my PhD. I rather suspect that lockdown and the Corona landscape has had much the same effect on many people; a weird stultifying miasma of stuck time and lethargic progress.
I have realised recently after some conversations with brilliant and engaged friends that many of the narratives around tiny houses are strangely apolitical.
This got me thinking about the #clapforcarers that we all mucked in with on Thursday at 8pm for a while, and how it seemed to occur in a strange vacuum of activity devoid of any further political action. It was not clap for carers and then email your local MP telling them to resist at all costs the privatization of the NHS and then tweet Boris Johnson words to the same effect and then go flyering to demand that carers wages are protected.
Likewise, so much of the Youtube or blog content on the tiny house movement focusses on the design and build process, whilst skirting over that the impetus for building the tiny house in the first place is the crushing cost of accommodation and the flatlining of wages. Where this is mentioned, it seems to me that it gets a sort of nod, and then we move on to more cheering topics such as a wardrobe which is also a staircase, how fun!
Few and far between are the tiny house themed critical commentaries on the ways in which the affordable housing crisis is a structurally enforced brutality. Fewer still are the rallying cries to collaborative political action and a reinvigoration of our civic duty to vote, protest, and agitate for justice.
Too often, for my tastes at least, tiny houses are presented as an individual solution to a structural problem. Like buying an oxygen tank so you don’t have to breathe the polluted air; your tank may indeed by worthily crafted from recycled mycelium floorboards, but it is not truly addressing the problem.
Am I looking in the wrong places? Is the depoliticization of our lives something that you too feel? Do you also have conversations with your pals about Donald Trump where everyone sort of agrees he is borderline entertainingly stupid and absurd, rather than that he is an extremely dangerous far right neo-Nazi and what can we do right now to work against the rising forces of evil that he represents? Or is that just me.