We are in a moment where the connection between art, real estate, and the displacement of longtime residents is undeniable. How might artists take responsibility for how we alter people’s lives, in terms of the impacts of real estate speculation and gentrification? How do we refuse co-optation and engage locally with our neighbors? How are artists, curators, galleries, and museums complicit with the same finance capital that gentrifies neighborhoods across the globe? We ask all of this as we involve ourselves deeply with tenant rights groups, to listen and learn from political and social urgencies. We refuse to accept that pointing at problems is enough. Rather, we look to create a collective analysis, to “act our way into thinking ” — a phrase borrowed from fellow organizer Leonardo Vilchis of Unión de Vecinos — which we’ve come to understand as the learning process that comes out of collective action, as opposed to relying on and residing only in theory. In this spirit, we share some of the lessons we’ve learned through our organizing and pedagogical work.
Read the full article by Betty Marín, Heather M. O’Brien, and Christina Sanchez Juarez on Hyperallergic.
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