I wanted to share some news coverage of a critical tourism project I worked on called the 'Geography of Erasure', in the Barceloneta neighborhood of Barcelona. There's now a GritTV video piece in English for those who don't speak Spanish/Catalan, and this other great video piece from La Vanguardia. The audio for each of the 'Erased' locations on the self-guided walking tour is downloadable, along with our map, on the Geografia Esborrada website.
ABOVE: Map I drew for our Geography of Erasure Tours in my old neighborhood, La Barceloneta
This spring, Not An Alternative received a commission to
create props for a Wall Street Bailout protest organized by a national
coalition of grassroots groups. When they brought me on as a collaborator we decided
to build this stage-like 'Front' of an imagined foreclosed house.
We wheeled it throughout the Financial District, bringing the visual
juxtaposition of 'Main Street' to 'Wall Street', and generating
conversation at every turn.
This October marks two years since the Iraq Veteran Against the War (IVAW) protest at the final presidential debates at Hofstra. IVAW member Nick Morgan was crushed that night under the hooves of a mounted police officer, later suffering extreme mistreatment while in police custody. I captured video of what happened, which you can see here and the vivid still images here. The footage aired on Democracy Now, as well as some other alternative outlets, despite an overall media blackout of the story. I repost it tonight, as Nick's case aginst the Long Island police department has yet to go to trial, and he is still waiting for justice.
" Drawing from her own practice and from first-hand research,
artist/activist Emily Forman will take us on a visual tour of the
contested Neoliberal City, highlighting the 'uninvited participation' of
its discontent inhabitants; grandmothers, squatters, and artists, joined
together in a shared struggle for spatial justice.
First we will go to Chicago, where the mythic 'Department of Space and
Land Reclamation' catalyzes a flurry of public interventions around
hyperreal governance and runaway gentrification; and where an anonymous
PR campaign nearly threatens to implode the City's careful rebranding of
its controversial public housing policies.
Then we visit 'Miles de Viviendas', a social center and 'Pirate
University', housed in a squatted police barracks in seaside
Barceloneta; where the neighbors bring culture to the barricades,
defending themselves against immanent displacement and tourist-driven
Disneyfication using bottom-up urban planning, critical cartography,
tactical textiles, and creative direct action. "
A video version of this talk and slideshow should be posted online soon.
THE STARLITE LOUNGE
Brooklyn's oldest black-owned, queer-friendly bar, the Starlite Lounge, closed sadly (due to real-estate speculation) this August, after 50 years in one Crown Heights location.
Starlite was a beloved community institution, which had provided a safe space during decades of racial segregation and pre-stonewall gay/lesbian persecution.
As a queer neighbor who valued the magical intergenerational and multiracial social space that Starlite provided, I felt compelled to work with the Starlite family in mounting an attempt at an anti-eviction campaign.
The Starlite is currently raising funds to reopen in a new Crown Heights home, so please be in touch if you want to help!
Last summer I had the pleasure of taking part in the second Picture the Homeless occupation staged with the Not An Alternative collective. There's a NY times article here that highlights the strategy of framing the empty-lot takeover as a 'fashion shoot'. PTH has been doing amazing work here in New York; support their work here.
If you haven't seen it yet, there is a
wonderful short documentary about Pilot TV, called 'A Call and an
Offering', which you can now watch online.
The bigger news is
that there is also a beautiful double DVD set, and it includes 15 TV shows produced during the weekend,
the Pilot TV Documentary, the original video "Call for Participation",
photos, posters and other fancy ephemera.
You can email me at
emily[at]multiplefronts.org if you participated in Pilot, or are
interested in screenings and/or distribution and would like to
recieve a copy.