• Here There Be Dragons, Season Four: Odes[s]a
    Jess Myers
    Jess Myers

Jess Myers, “Studio Collage,” 2024. Digital photograph. Courtesy the author

The narrative documentary podcast, Here There Be Dragons, breaks down the question of urban security to the scale of daily life. After seasons on New York, Paris, and Stockholm, season four turns to the Black Sea to focus on the diasporic and residential communities of Odesa, Ukraine, and how they navigate the question of safety. The podcast’s title is inspired by medieval cartographer’s depiction of sea monsters and demons hovering over unexplored land or dangerous territories accompanied by the phrase hic sunt dracones, “here be dragons”. Each season explores contemporary urban territories and engages with residents on the concept of security narratives, and the “dragons” that perpetuate them. Resident experiences reveal the impact that urban policy, design decisions, and social histories have over time. The podcast navigates the hidden post occupancy studies that lurk in mundane encounters with city life.

Jess Myers is an urbanist and assistant professor of architecture at Syracuse University whose practice includes work as an editor, writer, podcaster, and curator. In the past, Myers has worked in diverse roles—archivist, analyst, teacher—within cultural practices that include Bernard Tschumi Architects, the Service Employees International Union, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Rhode Island School for Design. Her personal interests and research engage multimedia platforms to explore politics and residency in urban conditions. Her podcast Here There Be Dragons takes an in-depth look at the impact of security narratives on urban planning through the eyes of city residents. Her writing can be found in Urban Omnibus, The Architect’s Newspaper, Log, l’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, The Avery Review, Places, Dwell, and The Funambulist magazine. Her 2022 exhibition, A Pause Is Not A Break, was on “view” in Providence, Rhode Island; Ames, Iowa; and Ottawa, Canada.