Southland Sessions

S1 E10 | FULL EPISODE

Civic Imagination

Hosted by artist and designer Rosten Woo, this episode will explore civic art and culture, including looks at artist's working as first and second responders during the pandemic, the production and deconstruction of civic memory, art and abolition, and the future of public space in Los Angeles.

AIRED: November 04, 2020 | 0:56:05
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

ROSTEN WOO: HELLO, AND WELCOME

TO "SOUTHLAND SESSIONS," WHERE

EVERY WEEK WE SHOWCASE THE

VIBRANCY AND THE RESILIENCE OF

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA'S CREATIVE

COMMUNITY. I'M ROSTEN WOO, A

CIVIC ARTIST AND DESIGNER

INTERESTED IN THE WAYS THAT

CULTURE GROUNDS COMMUNITY AND

SHAPES OUR UNDERSTANDING OF

WHAT IS POSSIBLE AND ESPECIALLY

IN THE WAYS THAT WE USE CULTURE

TO HELP US UNDERSTAND WHERE WE

LIVE. APPROPRIATELY, IN THIS

EPISODE, WE'LL BE CHECKING

IN WITH ARTISTS AND THINKERS WHO

DEAL WITH THE CIVIC SPHERE FROM

CREATIVELY PROVIDING BASIC

SERVICES LIKE FOOD AND PPE TO

RETHINKING HOW WE CREATE AND

MAINTAIN CIVIC MEMORY, WORKING

TOWARDS ABOLITION, AND REWRITING

THE RULES OF PUBLIC SPACE.

ANNOUNCER: MAJOR FUNDING FOR

THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY

THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES

DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING WAS PROVIDED

BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR

THE ARTS AND THE LOS ANGELES

COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND

CULTURE.

[CROSSING SIGNAL BEEPING]

CARMEN ARGOTE: I

GOT YOUR MESSAGE.

[BEEPING CONTINUES]

I'M TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHY

YOU WOULDN'T HELP ME.

[BEEPING CONTINUES]

I ALMOST DIED.

[SIRENS]

[WHOOSH]

IS THIS FEAR SO PARALYZING?

MOVING WITHIN THE CITY, THERE'S

JUST NOT VERY MANY PEOPLE. I

CAN HEAR THE HELICOPTERS, AND I

CAN HEAR EACH CAR OUT ON THE

FREEWAY, AND I CAN HEAR THE

BIRDS.

[BIRDS CHIRPING]

IN LOS ANGELES NOW, I TRY TO BE

INVISIBLE. WHEN I SEE SOMEONE

WALKING TOWARDS ME, I PERCEIVE

THEM AS A THREAT. MAYBE, LIKE,

THEY'RE NOT WEARING A MASK, OR

MAYBE THEY'RE TAKING UP THE

WHOLE SIDEWALK. THEY COUGH. YOU

MOVE DIAGONALLY ACROSS THE

OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET.

I THINK BACK TO BEING ABOUT 10

OR 11 YEARS OLD, PICO UNION, THE

1990s IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, AND

WALKING HOME AFTER SCHOOL FROM

THE BUS STOP AND SEEING A GROUP

OF MEN RELATED TO GANGS AND JUST

LEARNING TO SORT OF SEE OUT

OF THE CORNER OF MY EYE AND WALK

DIAGONALLY AS A HABIT WITH

ENOUGH DISTANCE SO THAT

THEY WOULDN'T NOTICE. NO

EYE CONTACT. INVISIBLE.

[HAMMER POUNDING]

[CRASH]

[HAMMERS POUNDING]

THIS IS WHERE WE ARE, AND I GO

UP UNTIL I MEET CESAR CHAVEZ.

CESAR CHAVEZ ALL THE WAY. THEN

I CROSS SOTO RIGHT HERE, PAST

THE LAUNDROMAT AND FREEWAY.

SO I FOLLOW MISSION, AND

MISSION IS JUST A REALLY LONG

STREET. ALL THE SORT OF GLASS

REPAIR PLACES ARE HERE.

YOU SAY NOT TO TAKE

IT PERSONALLY.

THAT IT'S THE SITUATION IN THE

WORLD. IT'S NOT THE SITUATION

IN THE WORLD. IT'S YOU. YOU

WEREN'T THERE FOR ME.

YOU'VE DECIDED...

THAT MY BODY'S CONTAMINATED.

[SIREN]

[TEA KETTLE WHISTLING]

[LEAVES RUSTLING]

READING ABOUT THE SURFACES THAT

IT LIVES ON, DURATIONS OF

SURFACES. WOOD--24 HOURS.

STEEL, FABRIC.

I THINK THE SCOPE OF IT IS

ACTUALLY TOO BIG. CAN'T LIVE

THE WAY THAT I NEED TO LIVE. I

FEEL LIKE I'M NOT MADE TO LAST.

I'M NOT THE ONE WHO'S GONNA

MAKE IT. JUST, LIKE, VERY AWARE

OF, LIKE, THIS ORGANIC BODY AND

THEN THE CITY, AND IT'S, LIKE,

THE TOUCHING. I WANT TO TOUCH

THE CITY. WANT TO TOUCH THE

CITY.

[INSECTS CHIRPING]

[SCRAPING]

[WHOOSH]

[BARKING]

THE FEELING IS FAMILIAR, THIS

FEELING WHEN THE CITY BREAKS,

WHEN IT ENCOUNTERS DISASTER. IT

REMINDED ME OF THE BUS RIDE TO

MY HOUSE IN '92,

THE DAY OF THE RIOTS.

I REMEMBER THE SMOKE AND

THE COLOR INSIDE THE SMOKE, AND

I REMEMBER THAT IT FELT KIND OF

LIKE A MOVIE. I WAS AT A

DISTANCE, AND SO I WAS SORT OF

WATCHING IT HAPPEN FROM BEHIND

MY GLASS AND SEEING PEOPLE ON

THEIR ROOF ON THEIR LAWN CHAIRS

WATCHING THE CITY BURN FROM A

DISTANCE LIKE YOU WOULD

WATCH A TELEVISION SHOW.

I DON'T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT WHAT

I SAW. EVERY TIME, I RETELL IT,

IT FEELS MORE FALSE, BECOMES

MORE ABSTRACT LIKE IT DIDN'T

HAPPEN.

[CLATTERING]

IN THE HOSPITAL, I WAS REALLY

ALONE.

IT WAS A SPECIFIC KIND OF

QUARANTINE. NO VISITORS,

STARING AT THE WALL, JUST

LOOKING AT THE LIGHT MOVE FROM

ACROSS THE WAY.

I WAS HOPING THAT

YOU'D BE THERE.

[FOOTSTEPS]

LIKE, ALL THIS PAIN THAT YOU'VE

HAD IS LIKE A ROOM IN YOUR

CHEST. THERE'S THIS

ARCHITECTURE INSIDE YOU THAT'S

TURNING INTO THE ARCHITECTURE

THAT YOU'RE IN.

YOU'RE LIVING IN IT, AND YOU

DON'T WANT TO LEAVE IT. IF YOU

WERE TO LET ME IN, YOU'D HAVE

TO CONFRONT YOURSELF.

[TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWING]

[BIRDS CHIRPING]

I DON'T THINK THAT WE CAN GO

BACK TO THE WAY THINGS WERE. I

DON'T THINK...

[CROSSING SIGNAL BEEPING]

THINGS WILL BE THE SAME.

[BEEPING CONTINUES]

WOO: THAT WAS "LAST LIGHT," AN

INCREDIBLE DOCUMENT BY

L.A.-BASED ARTIST CARMEN

ARGOTE. WATCHING THIS BRINGS ME

BACK TO A RECENT PAST THAT

ALREADY FEELS LIKE IT WAS A

VERY LONG TIME AGO, THE EARLY

DAYS OF COVID BEFORE THE

REALITY THAT WE'RE NOW LIVING IN

BECAME THE BASELINE, BACK WHEN

WE REALLY FELT THE JARRING

CHANGES AND THE EMPTINESS AND

BROKENNESS OF THE CITY IN A NEW

WAY. AS SCARY, DARK, AND

ALIENATING AS THIS TIME HAS

BEEN, IT'S ALSO HAD SOME MOMENTS

OF GENUINE HOPE FOR ME BECAUSE

LET'S BE HONEST. LIFE IN L.A.

BEFORE THE PANDEMIC WASN'T

EXACTLY WORKING OUT FOR MOST

OF US, SO HERE AT THE EDGE OF

DESPAIR, WE'VE ALSO FOUND HOPE,

SIGNS THAT THE OLD SYSTEMS THAT

SEEMED LIKED THEY MIGHT NEVER

CHANGE LITERALLY CANNOT CONTINUE

THIS WAY. WE'VE SEEN PROFOUND

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS TO DEFUND THE

POLICE, END RENT, AND ABOLISH

ICE. NEXT UP, WE'RE GOING TO

CHECK IN WITH ARTISTS PATRISSE

CULLORS, ALEXANDRE DORRIZ, AND

NOE OLIVAS AS WE TALK ABOUT

THE ROLE THAT ART CAN PLAY

IN ABOLITION AND IN EFFORTS

TO RECLAIM OUR HUMANITY.

ANGELA DAVIS: IN THE WHOLE

HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES,

THE IMPACT OF RACISM HAS BEEN

TO ATTEMPT OT CONTAIN BLACK

PEOPLE, HAS BEEN TO ATTEMPT TO

STIFLE THE DESIRES TOWARDS

LIBERATION. ONE OF THE WAYS IN

WHICH THIS IS ACCOMPLISHED IS

BY TRYING TO CONVINCE BLACK

PEOPLE THAT THEY'RE COMPLETELY

POWERLESS BEFORE THIS HUGE

APPARATUS. IT'S BUILT INTO THE

SYSTEM. IT'S BUILT INTO--IT'S

BUILT INTO THE NATURE OF THE

SOCIETY AND GETTING BACK TO THE

QUESTION OF WHAT A REVOLUTIONARY

IS, A BLACK REVOLUTIONARY

REALIZES THAT WE CANNOT BEGIN TO

COMBAT RACISM, WE CANNOT

BEGIN TO EFFECTIVELY

DESTROY RACISM UNTIL WE'VE

DESTROYED THE WHOLE SYSTEM.

WOMAN: HOW DO WE PROTECT

OURSELF IN THIS MOMENT? HOW DO

WE, YES, RESPOND TO THE

TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE CRIMES

AGAINST HUMANITY, AND YET,

ALSO, HOW DO WE BUILD A VISION,

A VISION WHERE WE CAN IMAGINE

BLACK PEOPLE LIVING, BLACK

PEOPLE THRIVING, WHERE PART OF

THE WORK THAT WE'RE DOING IS

NOT JUST RESPONDING TO OUR

DEATH BUT ACTUALLY DEVELOPING

SOMETHING THAT HAS THE ABILITY

TO RAISE MY CHILD, TO RAISE MY

CHILD'S CHILD, AND HIS

CHILDREN'S CHILDREN? WE'RE NOT

FIGHTING SO HARD BECAUSE WE

WANT TO FIGHT SO HARD. WE'RE

FIGHTING SO HARD BECAUSE WE HAVE

A VISION. WE HAVE A VISION

FOR WHAT WE DESERVE, FOR WHAT

EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING, ANIMAL

BEING, PLANT BEING DESERVES, AND

WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT BLACK LIVES

MATTER, REMEMBER THAT OUR

MOVEMENT IS ABOUT IMAGINING,

IMAGINING A WORLD WHERE BLACK

FOLKS ARE ACTUALLY FREE.

WOO: WHY CRENSHAW DAIRY MART,

AND, LIKE, WHAT'S THE

IMPORTANCE OF MAKING A SPACE

LIKE THAT OR HOWEVER YOU THINK

OF IT? LIKE, WHY DID YOU COME

TOGETHER TO MAKE THIS THING?

DORRIZ: SO WE ARE THE CRENSHAW

DAIRY MART. WE RUN A SPACE

WHICH FOCUSES ON ABOLITION,

ANCESTRY, AND HEALING, AND IT

WAS, YOU KNOW, SLOWLY FOUNDED

IN 2018, IN THE SUMMER OF 2018,

AND IN THE LAST TWO YEARS,

WE'VE BEEN PLANTING SEEDS AND

WATERING--WATERING THOSE SEEDS

TO BE ACTUALLY BLOSSOMING

DURING A PANDEMIC.

OLIVAS: PATRISSE AND ALEX

STARTED THE CONVERSATION ABOUT

FREEING THE LAND AND WERE

LOOKING AT DIFFERENT AREAS TO

LOOK AT IN ORDER TO START THE

CONVERSATION ABOUT ABOLITION

AND ALSO CREATING AN

ENVIRONMENT WHERE WHAT WOULD IT

LOOK LIKE WHERE ABOLITION AND

ARTISTS WOULD COME TOGETHER?

WHAT TYPE OF ENVIRONMENT THAT

WOULD CREATE AND JUST KIND OF

LISTENING TO THEIR

CONVERSATION, PATRISSE INVITED

US TO KIND OF LIKE START THIS

PROJECT OF THINKING ABOUT

WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE FOR

ABOLITIONISTS AND ARTISTS TO

COME TOGETHER. WE REALLY TOOK

OUR TIME, REALLY KIND OF LIKE

PLANTING THOSE SEEDS AND REALLY

TAKING CARE AND WATERING, AND

WHAT THAT MEANS IS KIND OF JUST,

LIKE, LISTENING. OUR OPENING WAS

WITH IN COLLABORATION WITH FOR

FREEDOMS, BUT THAT WAS JUST

WEEKS BEFORE THE PANDEMIC, AND

ALEX LIKES TO TALK ABOUT IT IN

THE WAY THE CRENSHAW DAIRY MART

WAS VERY MUCH BIRTHED DURING

THE PANDEMIC, AND WE KIND

OF HAD TO GO WITH THOSE--

WITH THOSE CHALLENGES AND

KIND OF LIKE RETHINK.

DORRIZ: THE USE OF LAND THAT WE

HAVE, THAT WE RENT AT THE

CRENSHAW DAIRY MART IS, LIKE,

OUR PARKING LOT SPACE AND THE

PUBLIC SPACE VERSUS THE ACTUAL

GALLERY SPACE IS A FAR CRY AS

FAR AS LIKE HOW MUCH--HOW MUCH

WE ACTUALLY ENGAGE WITH KIND OF

PARKING LOT AND PROJECTS THAT

NOE HAS LED WITH CARE NOT CAGES

MURAL THAT CAN BE SEEN FROM

AIRPLANES, YOU KNOW, FROM FORMS

OF MARK MAKING AND, LIKE, THE

BLM SIGN THAT NOE LED. SO IT'S

LIKE THESE THINGS--YOU KNOW,

IT'S USING THE IMAGINATION FOR

PROJECTS THAT ARE EXTERIOR

FACING AND, LIKE, PUBLIC

FACING AND TOGGLE THE

IMAGINATION SO THAT IT'S

NOT JUST IN THE GALLERY.

WOO: WHAT IS ABOLITION? WHY IS

IT IMPORTANT, AND WHAT DOES IT

HAVE TO DO WITH ART? WHY DO

ARTISTS AND ABOLITIONISTS NEED

A SPACE TOGETHER AT ALL?

CULLORS: YEAH. I MEAN, I THINK

THE CONCEPT OF ABOLITIONISTS

HAS CHANGED OVER TIME,

DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU'RE AT IN

HISTORY, AND SO WHAT WE

UNDERSTAND AS ABOLITIONIST WE

OFTEN, YOU KNOW,

THINK--PROBABLY THE FIRST

PERSON THAT WOULD COME INTO

MIND IS, LIKE, HARRIET TUBMAN,

AND THINKING ABOUT THE

ABOLITION OF CHATTEL SLAVERY IN

THIS COUNTRY. I THINK THE

MODERN-DAY TERM THAT WAS REALLY

COINED BY ANGELA DAVIS IS

TALKING ABOUT THE ABOLITION OF

THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX,

WHICH IS THE INDUSTRY OF

PUNISHING HUMAN BEINGS, AND WHEN

WE SAY WE'RE ABOLITIONISTS,

WE DON'T MEAN THAT WE'RE

ANTI-ACCOUNTABILITY. IF OUR

CURRENT SYSTEM WAS ABOUT

ACCOUNTABILITY, BREONNA TAYLOR

WOULD HAVE RECEIVED JUSTICE. SO

WE KNOW THAT IT'S A SYSTEM THAT

IS BASED IN ABUSING, MAIMING,

HARMING, AND KILLING BLACK

PEOPLE AND OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOR

AND THAT THE BASIS OF THE

CURRENT SYSTEM THAT WE LIVE IN,

WHICH IS, AS BELL HOOKS CALLS

IT, A WHITE, HETERONORMATIVE,

PATRIARCHAL, SEXIST, RACIST

SYSTEM. THAT SYSTEM IS A

SYSTEM THAT IS PREDICATED ON

ANTI-BLACKNESS, AND IT NEEDS

ANTI-BLACKNESS TO EXIST.

ABOLITION IS A PRO-BLACK

FRAMEWORK. THE ONLY WAY WE GET

TOWARDS ABOLITION IS IF WE HAVE

THE HONEST, POWERFUL, AND

NECESSARY CONVERSATIONS AROUND

HOW WE ENDED UP IN A CAPITALIST,

PATRIARCHAL SYSTEM TO BEGIN WITH

AND HOW WE GET OUT OF IT.

WOO: SO YOU HAVE THIS

HUGE, HEAVY, BIG SYSTEMIC THING

ON ONE HAND, AND THEN ON THE

OTHER HAND, YOU HAVE, LIKE,

ART, AND I THINK A LOT OF

PEOPLE WHEN THEY THINK, "ART,"

THEY'RE LIKE, "OH.

WELL, THAT'S LIKE THAT EXTRA

NICE THING IN YOUR LIFE THAT

KIND OF GIVES IT GIVES IT SOME

SPARKLE OR SOMETHING LIKE

THAT." THEY DON'T THINK OF

THOSE THINGS AS BEING, LIKE,

WHAT'S THE CONNECTION

BETWEEN--LIKE, WHY HAVE ART AND

ABOLITION CONNECTED. LIKE,

WHAT'S THE RELATIONSHIP?

CULLORS: ABSOLUTELY. I LOVE

THAT YOU'RE BRINGING THAT UP,

ROSTEN, BECAUSE I THINK PART OF

WHAT RACIAL CAPITALISM--LET ME

SAY IT THAT WAY--PART OF WHAT

RACIAL CAPITALISM HAS DONE HAS

MADE ART A COMMODITY AND MADE

IT A THING IN WHICH ONCE

SOMETHING IS COMMODIFIED,

DEPENDING ON WHAT IS THE TREND

AND WHAT IS THE TREND INSIDE OF

A CAPITALIST SYSTEM, THAT

COMMODITY IS OFTEN IN DIRECT

RELATIONSHIP WITH WHAT IS MOST

NORMATIVE TO WHITENESS. SO

THERE'S BEEN A DEEP, DEEP

INTENTIONALITY, AND THAT TO

ME, THAT KIND OF ATTENTION IS AN

ABOLITIONIST FRAMEWORK. I DON'T

BELIEVE THAT ABOLITION IS JUST

THIS POLITICAL THING THAT WE

ASPIRE TO DO AT SOME POINT.

ABOLITION IS HOW WE LIVE EVERY

SINGLE DAY. ABOLITION IS HOW WE

SHOW UP FOR EACH OTHER EVERY

SINGLE DAY. WE DON'T MAYBE GET

IT RIGHT ALL THE TIME. WE ALSO

TRY TO MODEL IT IN HOW WE SHOW

UP IN THE ART WORLD, AND

SO WE ARE TRYING TO INTERVENE IN

THAT WORLD AS A TINY, LITTLE

TEAM AND ALSO TRYING TO

SHOW UP DIFFERENTLY FOR

OURSELVES AND EACH OTHER.

WOO: AWESOME. THANK YOU ALL SO

MUCH FOR MAKING THE TIME TO

TALK WITH ME. THIS HAS BEEN

AWESOME, AND I WISH YOU A LOT

OF LUCK AND SUCCESS IN BUILDING

THIS WORLD THAT WE WANT TO LIVE

IN TOGETHER.

CULLORS: THANK YOU SO MUCH.

REALLY. APPRECIATE IT.

OLIVAS: THANK YOU.

CULLORS: THIS WAS BEAUTIFUL.

WOO: THE PANDEMIC HAS ALSO

CREATED THE SPACE FOR US TO

REEVALUATE A LOT OF THINGS THAT

ONCE SEEMED PERMANENT, AND IT'S

OPENED UP ROOM TO DREAM AND

RECLAIM. PUBLIC MONUMENTS TAKE

UP SPACE IN OUR CITY, AND THEY

FOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON

PARTICULAR IDEAS AND STORIES

ABOUT THE PLACES WE LIVE.

ACROSS THE NATION, OLD

MONUMENTS THAT OFTEN REPRESENT

A WHITE SUPREMACIST, SETTLER,

COLONIAL IDEA, THEY'RE COMING

DOWN AND THEY'RE BEING

REAPPROPRIATED AND

RECONFIGURED. HERE IN L.A.,

WE HAVE SEEN A REMARKABLE

UN-MONUMENTING AT SITES

THAT HAVE HELD TROUBLING

TRIBUTES TO COLONIZATION.

[WOMAN SPEAKING CHUMASHAN

LANGUAGE]

WOMAN: HELLO, RELATIVES. MY

HEART IS WITH YOU TODAY. WE

HAVE REACHED A TIME AND SPACE

WHERE THE OPPRESSED ARE TAKING

A FIRM STANCE AND SAYING,

"ENOUGH IS ENOUGH," A TIME WHEN

WE HAVE TO DISMANTLE THE SYSTEM

THAT DOESN'T WORK AND HAS NEVER

WORKED FOR OUR PEOPLE OF COLOR.

MAN: GRAB THE ROPES, EVERYBODY.

GET A ROPE. EVERYBODY, GRAB A

ROPE. SEPARATE ROPES. SPREAD

OUT. GRAB IT.

[PEOPLE SHOUTING]

WOMAN: 3!

WOMAN AND MAN: 1, 2, 3!

[BANG]

WOMAN: YES!

[CHEERING]

[DRUMS PLAYING]

[SINGING IN CHUMASHAN LANGUAGE]

CALDERON: AS WE SAID, THIS

DOESN'T FEEL LIKE A

CELEBRATION. THIS IS JUST THE

BEGINNING OF HEALING THAT NEEDS

TO OCCUR AMONGST OUR PEOPLE.

THIS IS A MAN WHO HAS CREATED

GENETIC TRAUMA FOR MYSELF

AMONGST OUR ANCESTORS. THESE

ANCESTORS OF OURS, THEY

STRUGGLED LOVING THEMSELVES

BECAUSE SOMEBODY LIKE THIS TOLD

THEM THAT THEY WERE DISGUSTING,

TOLD THEM THAT THEY WERE

USELESS OTHER THAN FOR SEX AND

FOR SLAVERY, AND BECAUSE

OF SOMEBODY

LIKE THAT, WE STRUGGLE TODAY

AS A COMMUNITY. "THESE STATUES

AND MONUMENTS WHICH HAVE BEEN

ERECTED ALL OVER OUR SACRED,

UNSEATED LANDS ARE CONSTANT

REMINDERS OF THE DOMINANT

SOCIETIES, OF THEIR NEED TO

CELEBRATE THE WRONGS OF THE

PAST. WE CANNOT TEACH LOVE

AND COMPASSION TO OUR YOUTH WHEN

THEY RECEIVE A COMPLETELY

DIFFERENT NARRATIVE IN

SCHOOLS AND OUTSIDE OF TRIBAL

COMMUNITIES. IT IS TIME TO TEACH

THE TRUTH AND REMOVE THE LIES

AND OPPRESSION.

IT IS TIME TO REMOVE THE

COMMEMORATIONS OF HATE,

BIGOTRY, AND COLONIZATION."

WOO: NOW WE'RE GOING TO CHECK

IN ON SOME ARTISTS WHO ARE

HELPING SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND

REALLY THE NATION TO RECKON

WITH ITS OWN HISTORY. IN THIS

CONVERSATION WITH ARTISTS

SANDRA DE LA LOZA, JOEL GARCIA,

AND MERCEDES DORAME, WE'LL HEAR

ABOUT THE LONG ROAD TO REMOVING

THE FATHER SERRA AND COLUMBUS

STATUES FROM DOWNTOWN L.A. AND

ABOUT NEW WAYS TO TELL STORIES

ABOUT THE LAND AND THE WORK TO

COME.

I'M GOING TO START MAYBE WITH

JOEL. WE GOT IN TOUCH JUST

BEFORE A REALLY AMAZING ACTION

THAT YOU ORCHESTRATED WITH SOME

OTHER FOLKS THAT I WAS ABLE TO

WITNESS, THE TAKING DOWN OF THE

FATHER SERRA STATUE, AND SO I

JUST WANTED TO HEAR IF YOU

COULD TALK A BIT ABOUT THE

PROCESS THAT LED UP TO THAT.

GARCIA: I'M AN INDIGENOUS

PERSON, SO I ALSO UNDERSTAND

THAT THIS IS NOW MY ANCESTRAL

HOMELAND. AS A YOUNGSTER, I

ENGAGED WITH DOWNTOWN L.A. IN

MANY DIFFERENT WAYS, WORKING

WITH MY UNCLE AS A YOUNGSTER,

LIKE, IN MIDDLE SCHOOL. HE HAD

A JEWELRY SHOP ON FIFTH AND

BROADWAY. SO I BECAME VERY

FAMILIAR WITH GRAND PARK, WHICH

WAS A BUS STOP THAT I WOULD

HAVE TO GET OFF OF, AND I

BECAME FAMILIAR WITH OLVERA FOR

A VARIETY OF REASONS, RIGHT? SO

THOSE TWO STATUES THERE JUST

WERE ALWAYS PRESENT. WHILE I WAS

WORKING AT SELF HELP GRAPHICS,

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I WAS

STEWARDING WAS A DIA DE

LOS MUERTOS TRADITION,

AND FOR THE LAST 6

YEARS AT GRAND PARK, SELF HELP

HAS INSTALLED IN PARTNERSHIP

WITH SO MANY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

AND ARTISTS A COMMUNITY ALTAR

NIGHT, AND IT TOOK PLACE

DIRECTLY ACROSS WHERE THE

COLUMBUS STATUTE WAS. SO THIS

WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS VERY

PRESENT, AND FOR EVERY YEAR, WE

HAD TO STRATEGIZE AROUND HOW TO

JUST MAKE IT DISAPPEAR WITHOUT

CALLING ATTENTION TO IT EITHER.

WOO: WHAT HAPPENED IN GRAND

PARK? I THINK SOME PEOPLE

WATCHING WILL JUST NOT BE

FAMILIAR.

GARCIA: SO IT STARTED OFF ON A

FUNNY NOTE BECAUSE EVERYBODY

WAS CELEBRATING THE CHANGING OF

COLUMBUS DAY TO INDIGENOUS

PEOPLES DAY, WHICH IS A GREAT

THING, BUT AS THE FESTIVITIES

WERE TAKING SHAPE, I WAS, LIKE,

"WELL, WAIT A MINUTE. LIKE,

IT'S KIND OF ODD THAT WE'RE

GONNA CELEBRATE INDIGENOUS

PEOPLES DAY IN A PARK THAT HAS

A COLUMBUS STATUE." SO I JUST

KIND OF FLIPPANTLY THREW THAT

OUT ON FACEBOOK. PEOPLE REACTED

TO IT IMMEDIATELY, AND I THINK

THAT NIGHT SOMEBODY WENT AND

THREW, LIKE, PAINT ON IT. 9

MONTHS LATER NOW, A PUERTO RICAN

ARTIST TANYA MELENDEZ, WHO

IDENTIFIES AS TAINO--THIS IS

DURING THE HURRICANE, HURRICANE

MARIA, ONE THAT HIT PUERTO RICO.

THERE WAS NO COVERAGE IN THE

NEWS, SO HER AND I WERE TALKING,

AND WE DECIDED TO GO TURN TO THE

COLUMBUS STATUE INTO AN

ALTAR, AND WE WERE MIDWAY IN THE

PROCESS WHEN WE WERE SURROUNDED

BY THE SHERIFFS AND, I GUESS,

THE SECURITY TEAM THERE AT GRAND

PARK, AND THEN THAT INCIDENT

REALLY PUSHED COUNTY OFFICIALS

TO RESPOND AND GETTING THE BALL

ROLLING A LITTLE BIT QUICKER.

O'FARRELL: I THINK TO MOST

PEOPLE THIS ISN'T A BIG DEAL,

AND TO MOST PEOPLE, THEY'RE

FAIRLY INDIFFERENT TO IT, BUT

IT'S REALLY NOT OK TO BE

INDIFFERENT TO THE CELEBRATION

OF AN IMAGE OF SOMEONE WHO WAS

PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR

COMMITTING ATROCITIES.

[CHEERING AND SHOUTING]

[DRUMS BEATING]

[CHEERING]

DORAME: I ALSO GREW UP IN LOS

ANGELES. I'VE LIVED IN OTHER

PLACES, BUT I FIND MYSELF

CONTINUALLY BACK IN THIS PLACE

THAT I CALL HOME, AND WHY I

HAVE MY WORK LOCATED THERE AND

WHY IT'S SUCH AN

INTERESTING--OR A POINT OF

INTEREST IS BECAUSE OF MY

TONGVA ANCESTRY, AND SO TONGVA

ARE THE PEOPLE WHO WERE THE

ORIGINAL INHABITANTS OF THE

LOS ANGELES BASIN. SO MUCH OF MY

EARLY EXPERIENCE IN EXPLORING

THE CULTURE IN CONNECTION

WITH MY ARTWORK, IT WAS LIKE

UNBURYING THINGS OR DECODING.

WITH MY PHOTOGRAPHY, FOR ME, THE

PHOTOGRAPH ACTS AS THIS KIND

OF RECORD OF MEMORY, THIS WAY TO

CODE SOMETHING AS TONGVA AND

MAKE IT PERMANENT. I FEEL LIKE

MY PHOTOGRAPHS HAVE ALWAYS TAKEN

ON THIS STANCE OF, LIKE, IN

MEMORIALIZING A SPACE THAT IS

TEMPORARY, WHERE MY ACCESS TO IT

IS TEMPORARY. SO WHEN THIS

CALL CAME OUT TO

THINK ABOUT MONUMENTS, MY

FIRST THOUGHT WAS, "OH, THAT'S

NOT EXACTLY WHAT I DO, BUT I'M

REALLY INTRIGUED BY THIS IDEA."

I WAS WATCHING EVERYTHING GOING

ON AROUND THE SERRA STATUES

COMING DOWN, WHICH WAS SO

INVIGORATING, I GUESS IS

A GOOD WORD, AND THEN I REALLY

STARTED TO THINK, "WELL,

WHAT SHOULD A MONUMENT BE?"

I'VE SPENT ACTUALLY A LOT OF

TIME IN WASHINGTON, D.C.,

AND YOU WALK AROUND THESE

AREAS WHERE JUST TONS OF PEOPLE

TRAVEL TO THESE PLACES TO LOOK

AT THIS THING THAT REFERENCES

BACK TO A PAST, AND I THINK ONE,

SOMETIMES YOU GET THIS QUESTION

AS A PERSON TALKING ABOUT THESE

DIFFICULT HISTORIES, SUCH

AS WHAT HAPPENED TO THE

TONGVA IN LOS ANGELES, AND

PEOPLE SAY, "WELL, WHY DO YOU

NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS ANYMORE?

LIKE, CAN'T YOU JUST LET IT GO?"

KIND OF SENTIMENT, AND THEN I

KIND OF THINK OF THIS IN REGARDS

TO THESE MONUMENTS, WHICH ARE

PLACES WHERE PEOPLE GATHER TO

REMEMBER, RIGHT? SO THE PROCESS

OF REMEMBERING, I FEEL LIKE,

IS REALLY IMPORTANT. WAY BACK

WHEN I WAS THINKING A LOT ABOUT

WHY AND WHO AND WHAT GETS

REMEMBERED, AND SO WHEN I WAS

THINKING SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THIS

IDEA AND THIS RELATIONSHIP OF

THE HISTORY OF OUR CURRENT

MOMENT AND THE COLUMBUS STATUE,

I REALLY WANTED TO POINT TO NOT

A PERSON. I WANTED TO TAKE THIS

IDEA OF LOOKING UPWARD, WHICH IS

OFTEN THE POSITIONING YOU'RE PUT

IN WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING AT THESE

STATUES, AS WE OFTEN ENCOUNTER

THEM, OF LITERALLY STANDING

AND LOOKING UP, AND INSTEAD

OF HAVING THAT BE A PERSON

OR AN INDIVIDUAL, REALLY

LOOK AT THE CULTURE AS

SOMETHING THAT'S THRIVED.

GARCIA: THE PROJECT THAT

MERCEDES IS REFERRING TO. COMES

FROM NOT JUST THE REMOVAL OF

THE COLUMBUS STATUE. LIKE, IT

COMES SPECIFICALLY FROM THAT

EFFORT, BUT ALSO FROM THIS

QUESTION THAT THE CITY--OR NOT

JUST THE CITY BUT THE ENTIRE

COUNTRY IS TRYING TO, LIKE,

LAND ON IS, LIKE, "HOW DO WE

RECONCILE WITH THIS HISTORY?

HOW DO WE ALLOW FOR THESE

AUTHENTIC STORIES TO COME AND

BE NOT JUST REMEMBERED BUT

HONORED BY EVERY PERSON

WHO INHABITS THE U.S.?"

RIGHT? AND SO FOR ME AND, LIKE,

IN SANDRA'S WORK, LIKE,

YOU KNOW, OUR WORK HAS

BEEN ABOUT FLATTING THOSE

HIERARCHIES, AND THIS

PROJECT THAT MERCEDES'

WORK IS PART OF,

IT'S TITLED "MEMORY AND

FUTURITY AND YAANGNA,"

RIGHT? SO REALLY THINKING

BACK BEYOND THIS NOTION OF L.A.,

OF JUST THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES,

BECAUSE EVEN WITHIN SOCIAL

JUSTICE SPACES, WHEN WE TALK

ABOUT LOS ANGELES AND THE EAST

SIDE, IT ALWAYS BEGINS IN THIS,

LIKE, VERY ROMANTICIZED NOTION

OF BOYLE HEIGHTS, OF, LIKE THIS

COMMUNITY THAT WAS JEWISH,

THAT WAS BLACK, THAT WAS MEXICAN

AMERICAN, JAPANESE, BUT RARELY

IN THOSE CONVERSATIONS AND

IN THAT NARRATIVE DO YOU HEAR

THE INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVE, THE

INDIGENOUS STORIES. SO THE IDEA

OF THIS PROJECT CAME FROM, LIKE,

HOW DO WE AS A ARTS DEPARTMENT

FOR THE COUNTY MOVE TO BE ABLE

TO DO THAT FOR NOT JUST TONGVA

FOLKS BUT THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY?

DE LA LOZA: TRADITIONAL

MONUMENTS TEND TO ERECT--BE

BRONZE MONUMENTS, ERECT,

SINGULAR, FIXED, REDUCED,

NARROW NARRATIVES, AND SO I'M

NOT SURE THAT, LIKE, THE

SOLUTION IS TO CREATE

A TRADITIONAL MONUMENT

AND SLAP ON A COUNTER

NARRATIVE ONTO THAT. I'M MUCH

MORE INTERESTED IN HOW CAN

MONUMENTS BE LIVING, ACTIVE

SPACES IN WHICH WE LEARN AND

PROCESS HISTORY. RECENTLY, I

JUST COMPLETED A MEMORIAL

DESIGN. IT WAS A COLLABORATIVE

PROJECT WITH THE ARTIST AND

GREAT FRIEND ARTURO ERNESTO

ROMO, AND WE'RE WORKING WITH

AN ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

ORGANIZATION CALLED EAST YARD

COMMUNITIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL

JUSTICE, AND THEY REALLY LED

A REALLY ELABORATE PROCESS TO

MEMORIALIZE A SPACE CALLED

SLEEPY LAGOON, WHICH WAS

KNOWN FOR A ROUNDUP OF

TEENS IN THE EARLY 1940s

WHEN A YOUNG PERSON WAS FOUND

DEAD AFTER SOME FIGHTS THE NIGHT

BEFORE. THAT EVENT IGNITED A

WHOLE MEDIA KIND OF FRENZY,

DENIGRATING A WHOLE SUBCULTURE,

AND A SUBSEQUENT ROUNDUP OF

WORKING-CLASS YOUTH, BUT WE

WANTED TO HONOR THAT EVENT, BUT

WE ALSO WANTED TO HONOR THE LAND

ITSELF AND GO TAKE THE HISTORY

BEYOND THAT SINGULAR EVENT.

SO WITHIN THAT MEMORIAL, IT'S

A MEMORIAL THAT HONORS ZOOT

SUIT CULTURE AND YOUTH

CULTURE AND ALSO LOOKS AT THE

HISTORY OF THE LAND ITSELF.

GARCIA: SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE

CONSIDERED SERIOUSLY WAS, LIKE,

WHAT IF YOU JUST PLANT OAK TREES

AT GRAND PARK? WHAT IF BRINGING

BACK THESE TREES THAT HAVE, YOU

KNOW--THAT INVITE THEIR OWN

ECOSYSTEM IS THE BEST MONUMENT

THAT WE CAN DO FOR L.A.? YOU

KNOW, LIKE, INDIGENOUS MEMES,

LIKE, OH, MY GOD, SO HILARIOUS,

BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT

ALWAYS SURFACES IS, LIKE, YOU

KNOW, WHEN FOLKS STOP WHATEVER

THEY'RE DOING, WHETHER THEY'RE

DRIVING OR WHATEVER, JUST TO

LOOK AT A HAWK FLYING BY OR AN

EAGLE FLYING BY, AND IT'S ALSO

SAD THAT, LIKE, WE GO TO THESE

GREAT LENGTHS TO INTERACT

WITH, LIKE--MERCEDES IS LAUGHING

BECAUSE IT'S TRUE--THAT WE GO TO

THESE GREAT LENGTHS TO INTERACT

WITH THESE ANIMALS THAT ARE PART

OF THE CITY OR PART OF THE

SPACE, THAT THE BEST THING WE

COULD DO IS HELP THEM COME BACK.

DORAME: I THINK THERE IS THIS

KIND OF INTERNAL, LIKE, HUMAN

PART OF US THAT GATHERS IN

THOSE PLACES. IT ALSO MAKES ME

THINK OF SLEEPY LAGOON. LIKE,

WHY WAS THAT A PLACE THAT

EVERYONE GATHERED? LIKE, WHO

DOESN'T WANT TO GO SWIMMING IN

THE SUMMER, RIGHT? IT'S KIND OF

THIS HUMAN DRIVE TOWARD THESE

SPACES THAT INVITE US RIGHT?

AND I THINK SO OFTEN THESE KIND

OF TRADITIONAL MONUMENTS AS WE

SEE THEM ARE NOT INVITING

NECESSARILY. SO I FEEL LIKE

HAVING OAK TREES WOULD HAVE THIS

POTENTIAL OF GATHERING AND

POINTING TO SOMETHING AND PAYING

ATTENTION TO SOMETHING AND MAYBE

LEARNING OR RECONNECTING.

GARCIA: THAT STATUE AT OLVERA

STREET BEING GONE NOW HAS

STARTED CONVERSATIONS ABOUT

RETURNING LAND TO THE TONGVA

COMMUNITY. THAT SIMPLE ACTION

HAS MADE IT--YOU KNOW, IT'S

MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO

HAVE, LIKE, THESE BIG, BIG

QUESTIONS.

WOO: IT'S BEEN CLEAR FOR A

WHILE NOW THAT SO MUCH OF HOW

WE LIVE IS GOING TO HAVE TO

CHANGE, AND THAT INCLUDES THE

WAYS THAT WE CREATE,

PARTICIPATE IN, AND WITNESS

CULTURE. FRANKLY, WITH SO MANY

PEOPLE STRUGGLING WITH JUST

BASIC NEEDS, YOU HAVE

TO ASK WHAT'S

THE POINT OF CULTURE AT A TIME

LIKE THIS? SO NOW WE'RE GOING

TO CHECK IN WITH SOME ARTISTS

AND CULTURE WORKERS THAT HAVE

TAKEN ON SOME VERY DIFFERENT

ROLES SINCE THE BEGINNING OF

THE PANDEMIC, AND THEY'VE

CONTINUED TO ADAPT THEIR

WORK AND THEIR COMMUNITIES.

[SOUZA MARCH PLAYING]

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

KRISTINA: KRISTINA WONG!

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

I BECAME THE REAL-LIFE ELECTED

OFFICIAL OF SUB-DISTRICT 5

WILSHIRE CENTER KOREATOWN

NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL. HOW DID I

WIN OVER THOSE 72 VOTERS IF YOU

INCLUDE THE VOTE THAT I CAST

FOR MYSELF?

[LAUGHTER]

WAS IT MY HEART-STIRRING

MESSAGE, MY VISION FOR MAKING

KOREATOWN A SAFE HAVEN FOR ALL

IMMIGRANTS, MY MISSION TO

PROTECT THE MOST VULNERABLE? IT

WAS ALL THAT, BUT IT WAS

ESPECIALLY MY ABILITY TO PASS

AS KOREAN!

[GONG]

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

53.5% OF KOREATOWN IS LATINX,

AND I AM NOT ABOVE HISPANDERING

TO THAT.

[LAUGHTER]

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

WOO: IN THIS ROUNDTABLE, WE'RE

GOING TO TALK ABOUT WHAT IT

MEANS TO PROVIDE DIRECT

SERVICES OR TO ACT AS A SECOND

RESPONDER AS A CULTURAL

PRACTICE AND ABOUT CULTURE AS

AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE. WE'LL

SPEAK WITH: KRISTINA WONG, A

COMEDIAN WHO ORGANIZED A SEWING

SQUAD THAT CREATES AND

DISTRIBUTES PROTECTIVE GEAR;

JIA GU, AN ARCHITECT AND ARTS

ORGANIZER WHO REORGANIZED HER

SPACE TO SUPPORT WATER

DISTRIBUTION; AND VIJAY GUPTA, A

VIOLINIST WORKING TO KEEP

CULTURAL CONTINUITY THROUGH

THE PANDEMIC IN L.A.'s SKID ROW.

DO YOU CONTINUE DOING YOUR

PERFORMANCE WORK OR YOUR MUSIC

OR YOUR ARCHITECTURE ALONGSIDE

THIS OTHER KIND OF WORK, OR IS

IT INSTEAD OF, OR HOW DO HOW

DID THESE THINGS RELATE TO EACH

OTHER?

WONG: I WANT TO JUMP IN AND SAY

THE REASON WHY I RAN FOR OFFICE

TWO YEARS AGO AND BEFORE THAT

IS I WAS REALLY IN A PLACE

WHERE I COMMENT A LOT ON THE

WORLD IN MY WORK, AND IT

DIDN'T MAKE SENSE ANYMORE FOR

PEOPLE TO COME INTO THEATERS

AND PAY TICKET MONEY FOR ME TO

GO, "ISN'T IT CRAZY? ISN'T THIS

CRAZY?" AND I LITERALLY WAS,

LIKE, ARTISTS AND POLITICIANS

HAD SWITCHED JOBS. THEY NOW

CREATE THE SHOCK AND SPECTACLE

THAT HAVE US QUESTIONING

REALITY. WE NOW RECLAIM THE

QUIET SPACE FOR SOCIAL TRUTH,

AND WE'RE BASICALLY WHAT'S LEFT

TO BE THE SOCIAL WORKERS BECAUSE

WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO

HAVE THERAPISTS AND SOCIAL

WORKERS OUT THERE. SO THAT'S WHY

I DECIDED TO RUN TO

SEE IF IT MADE SENSE FOR

ME TO INJECT MYSELF AS A

CREATIVE IN THAT WORLD.

GU: I THINK VERY SIMILARLY,

LIKE, WE ASK OURSELVES, I MEAN,

LIKE, ALMOST EVERY DAY, LIKE,

IS IT HELPFUL OR HARMFUL FOR AN

ARTS AND CULTURE ORGANIZATION

TO STEP INTO A KIND OF

SERVICE-BASED ACTION WHERE WE

DON'T HAVE EXPERTISE ABOUT

SYSTEMS AND, LIKE, BEST

PRACTICES SUPPORTING THE

UNHOUSED, AND, YOU KNOW, IT'S

JUST, LIKE, THE NEED IS SO

GREAT, BUT ALSO THE IDEA THAT

IT'S A CULTURE OF SURPLUS IS

REALLY, LIKE, QUITE A DANGEROUS

NEO-LIBERAL IDEA, I THINK,

BUT WE'RE ALL PROBABLY

UNDERSTANDING, BUT I THINK

CULTURE REALLY KIND OF

UNDERGIRDS AND GIVES MEANING

TO EVERYTHING THAT'S

INTOLERABLE ABOUT WHAT'S

HAPPENING IN THIS MOMENT. I

THINK THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT

FOR, LIKE, ARTISTS AND ARTS ORGS

TO REMEMBER THAT THE WORK

IS REALLY VITAL AND IT'S

REALLY VITAL FOR A KIND OF,

LIKE, VITALITY OF EVERYDAY LIFE.

GUPTA: YOU KNOW, AT THE SAME

TIME, IT'S LIKE THAT QUESTION

OF CULTURE ALWAYS IS ASKED OF,

YOU KNOW, WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF

WHOSE CULTURE IS IT AND TO WHAT

END, YOU KNOW, AND, ROSTEN, I

JUST WANT TO WANT TO POINT TO

THE WORK THAT YOU'VE DONE, THE

RECENT EXHIBIT "HOW TO HOUSE

7,000 PEOPLE IN SKID ROW." THE

ORGANIZATION THAT I FOUNDED 12

YEARS AGO, STREET SYMPHONY, AND

THE LOS ANGELES POVERTY

DEPARTMENT ACTUALLY SHARE

OFFICE SPACE AT THE SITE OF

ROSTEN'S NEW EXHIBIT, AND

THE WORK OF STREET

SYMPHONY OVER THE LAST 12

YEARS HAS BEEN TO CREATE A

RELATIONAL LABORATORY FOR

INDIVIDUALS EXPERIENCING

HOMELESSNESS AND INCARCERATION,

RECOVERING FROM HOMELESSNESS,

INCARCERATION ACROSS LOS ANGELES

COUNTY, AND SO THE WORK OF

STREET SYMPHONY NOW THROUGH

COVID HAS BEEN TO CONTINUE

TO SHOW UP TO MAKE MUSIC IN

COMMUNITIES IN RECOVERY,

COMMUNITIES IN REENTRY, MOSTLY

BASED IN SKID ROW, OFTEN THROUGH

ZOOM, WHICH HAS NOW ILLUMINATED

FOR US THAT WI-FI IS A PUBLIC

HEALTH ISSUE, IS A HUMAN RIGHTS

NECESSITY, AND I ACTUALLY FIND

THAT FOR MYSELF I FIND FAR FEWER

FOURTH WALLS UP IN COMMUNITIES

WE ARE LIKELY TO CALL VULNERABLE

OR MARGINALIZED THAN I

DO IN COMMUNITIES THAT

ARE THERE TO CONSUME ART.

WONG: I'LL SAY IT ALSO THAT I

FEEL LIKE THERE ARE SOME

LIFE--LIKE, LITERAL

LIFE-OR-DEATH STAKES RIGHT NOW,

AND I FEEL LIKE THIS IS SORT OF

MAYBE WHAT VIJAY WAS TALKING

ABOUT, BUT, LIKE, THIS IS THE

TIME WHEN YOU CUT THE B.S. OUT

OF YOUR SCHEDULE, AND YOU

GO--YOU REALLY CUT TO WHAT

MATTERS AND WHAT ARE YOU GOING

TO DO? WHAT IS IT YOU WANT TO

CREATE?

WOO: DO YOU FEEL LIKE THIS HAS

CHANGED THE WAY YOU WANT TO

PRACTICE YOUR OTHER WORK, THE

REST OF YOUR WORK OR CHANGE

YOUR PRACTICE KIND OF GOING

FORWARD IN A SIGNIFICANT WAY?

WONG: IF THIS MOMENT IN HISTORY

DOES NOT SHIFT THE WAY ANY

ARTIST IS MAKING OR THINKING

ABOUT THEIR WORK, THEN THERE'S

SOMETHING REALLY, LIKE,

WRONG--YOU'RE WRONG, ARTIST,

YOU'RE WRONG! LIKE, THIS IS A

HUGE WAKEUP CALL THAT THE WAY

WE'VE BEEN PROCEEDING HAS NOT

BEEN RIGHT. SO WITH THAT SAID,

YES. FIRST, I THOUGHT, "OK. I'M

JUST GONNA MAKE A FEW MASKS.

FACTORY MASKS WILL SHOW UP,"

AND THEN IT WAS LIKE, "OOPS.

SYSTEMIC RACISM HAS LEFT

ALL THESE PEOPLE WITHOUT

MASKS. I GOT TO GO HELP THEM,"

SO I FOUND MYSELF JUST SO

OVERWHELMED I STARTED THIS GROUP

CALLED THE AUNTIE SEWING SQUAD

BECAUSE SO MUCH LITERAL SWEAT,

BLOOD, AND TEARS HAVE GONE INTO

MAKING THESE MASKS AND DOING

THIS WORK ON BEHALF OF US. IT

DOES FEEL LIKE AN ART PROJECT.

I FEEL LIKE I'M RUNNING A

NONPROFIT WITHOUT THE NONPROFIT

STATUS. I FEEL LIKE I AM RUNNING

AN ENSEMBLE THEATER EXCEPT

INSTEAD OF ACTORS I HAVE PEOPLE

SEWING AT HOME, AND I'M

TRYING TO JUST

COORDINATE THEM,

AND IT'S, LIKE, THE VERY FIRST

POST WAS LIKE, "DON'T BE

A BULLY. ONLY TALK ABOUT MASKS."

THIS IS MY FACEBOOK GROUP FOR

AUNTIE SEWING SQUAD. WITHIN

3 MONTHS, WE HAD

CORE VALUES, A MISSION

STATEMENT. I WAS LIKE, "WHAT

THE HELL? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?"

GU: SOME THINGS ARE REALLY

DIFFICULT, LIKE, GETTING

5 MILLION MASKS OUT, BUT SOME

THINGS ARE REALLY SIMPLE, LIKE

JUST TURN ON THE WATER FOUNTAIN

IN THE PARK, RIGHT, AND JUST

ALLOW PEOPLE TO STAY WHERE THEY

HAVE THEIR TENTS AND DON'T

SWEEP THEM, BUT ONE THING WE

IDENTIFIED THAT WAS, LIKE, A

SKILLSET WE HAVE IN OUR ORG IS

THAT WE'RE GOOD AT ORGANIZING,

AND SO AT THE VERY LEAST, WE

CAN BUILD UP CERTAIN KINDS OF

SOCIAL-POLITICAL

INFRASTRUCTURES, LOGISTICAL

INFRASTRUCTURES THAT WOULD

THEREFORE AT LEAST ENABLE

ANOTHER ORGANIZATION TO CONTINUE

SOME OF THAT WORK. WE'RE, YOU

KNOW, OPEN TO THESE OTHER

ORGANIZATIONS SORT OF BORROWING

SPACE FROM US, AND AS AN

ORGANIZATION, THAT'S SORT OF OUR

WAY OF WORKING IS WE BORROW

A LOT OF SPACE FROM OTHER

PEOPLE. SO IT'S BEEN KIND OF

AN INTERESTING RELATIONSHIP

THAT'S BEEN SET UP AROUND, LIKE,

ACCESS TO PROPERTY, YOU KNOW.

GUPTA: I DO THINK THAT THERE IS

A CONVERSATION THAT NEEDS TO BE

HAD AROUND THE SHIFT THAT HAS

TO HAPPEN IN HOW WE SUPPORT THE

ARTS, THAT RIGHT NOW WE NEED TO

CONTINUE HAVING THE

CONVERSATION THAT BIGGER IS NOT

BETTER BECAUSE RIGHT NOW BIGGER

IS DOING NOTHING. RIGHT NOW,

IT'S THE SMALL WHO ARE DOING.

SO HOW DO WE SHIFT THE

CONVERSATION FROM EXTRACTIVE

PHILANTHROPY, ESPECIALLY IN

THIS KIND OF CODED LANGUAGE

AROUND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

AND SOCIAL IMPACT AND SOCIAL

INNOVATION, TO ACTUALLY

BEING WHAT IT REALLY NEEDS

TO BE, WHICH IS MUTUAL AID?

WOO: TO BE TOTALLY HONEST, I'VE

HARDLY BEEN OUTSIDE SINCE

MARCH. AND WHEN I HAVE, I'VE

BEEN TAKING MY KIDS TO THE

BEACH, THE NEIGHBORHOOD PARK,

BUT FROM MY CAR WINDOW, I CAN

SEE THE WORLD TRYING TO

RECONFIGURE ITSELF WITH THESE

NEW SPATIAL RULES. IF WE NEED

TO BE DOING MORE OUTSIDE NOW,

HOW DO WE REORGANIZE THIS

PUBLIC SPACE? HOW DO WE MAKE IT

FAIR? HOW DO WE MAKE IT BETTER?

HARRIS-DAWSON: DESTINATION

CRENSHAW IS AN OPEN-AIR

PEOPLE'S MUSEUM THAT RUNS ALONG

CRENSHAW BOULEVARD DESIGNED TO

CELEBRATE THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF

AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN LOS

ANGELES TO OUR CITY, TO OUR

STATE, OUR COUNTRY, AND WORLD.

WOMAN: WE'VE DONE A LOT TO

CONTRIBUTE TO THE HEALTH AND

WELFARE OF LOS ANGELES, AND WE

WANTED TO TELL THE STORY.

HOWARD: THESE ARE THEIR

EXPERIENCES. THESE ARE THEIR

STORIES THAT WE'RE TELLING

STRAIGHT FROM THEIR MOUTH INTO

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT.

FINLEY: AND THIS IS PART OF OUR

CULTURE. THIS IS OUR CULTURE.

HARRIS-DAWSON: DESTINATION

CRENSHAW GREW OUT OF A

LONG-HELD TRADITION IN THE

BLACK COMMUNITY, THAT IS TO

TURN DISENFRANCHISEMENT AND

DISCRIMINATION INTO

OPPORTUNITIES AND BENEFITS FOR

OUR COMMUNITY.

WOMAN: I THINK

DESTINATION CRENSHAW HELPS

SOLIDIFY A FOOTPRINT IN

LOS ANGELES BECAUSE I THINK IT'S

A VERY VISIBLE REMINDER THAT

PEOPLE OF COLOR HAVE BEEN

INSTRUMENTAL IN THE DEVELOPMENT

OF CRENSHAW BOULEVARD.

FINLEY: WE HAVE PUT DOWN SOME

SERIOUS, SERIOUS CULTURAL

ROOTS, SO WE NEED TO BUILD ON

THAT.

HOWARD: THIS ISN'T JUST ABOUT

ENGAGING. THIS IS ABOUT

PARTNERING IN THE DESIGN WITH

PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEIR

COMMUNITY, THEIR HISTORY, THEIR

ASPIRATIONS, AND SO WE NEED

THEM.

KEITH: THERE NEED TO BE KIND OF

VISUAL REMINDERS THAT THIS IS A

PROUD AFRICAN AMERICAN

NEIGHBORHOOD, AND I THINK

DESTINATION CRENSHAW IS

ALLOWING THAT TO HAPPEN.

WOO: NEXT, WE'RE JOINED BY SOME

PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING

THROUGH THESE COMPLEX ISSUES IN

CONCRETE WAYS. WE'LL TALK TO:

LYRIC KELKAR FROM INCLUSIVE

ACTION FOR THE CITY;

CHRISTOPHER HAWTHORNE, L.A.'s

CHIEF DESIGN OFFICER; AND CITY

COMMISSIONER AND CICLAVIA CHIEF

STRATEGIST TAFARAI BAYNE.

I THOUGHT WE WOULD TALK ABOUT

PUBLIC SPACE. LIKE, WHAT DOES

THAT MEAN NOW? WHAT ARE THE

WAYS IN WHICH, LIKE, WE'RE

RETHINKING IT, AND WHAT ARE THE

LESSONS WE'RE LEARNING AT THIS

TIME, AND WHAT CAN WE KIND OF

TAKE FROM THIS MOMENT THAT WE

MIGHT BE ABLE TO TAKE FORWARD

IN THE WAY WE PLAN AND LIVE IN

THE CITY?

KELKAR: SOMETHING THAT WE'VE

BEEN THINKING ABOUT A LOT FOR

MANY YEARS FOR PUBLIC SPACE IS

WHO HAS ACCESS TO IT AND

ESPECIALLY AS AN ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT ENGINE, REALLY

SPECIFICALLY STREET VENDORS,

SO STREET VENDORS ARE, LIKE,

REALLY AN INTEGRAL PART OF L.A.

CULTURE, AND WE THINK ABOUT HOW

WE CAN INCLUDE THEM AS A SOURCE

OF LOCAL ECONOMY. THEY SELL A

LOT OF FOOD GAPS. THEY PROVIDE

SERVICES TO A LOT OF

NEIGHBORHOODS, AND HOW WE CAN

MAKE SURE THAT ESPECIALLY AS

FOLKS MOVE OUTSIDE AND USE

PUBLIC SPACE MORE, HOW DO WE

ENSURE THAT THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE

BEEN USING IT FOR A REALLY

LONG TIME ARE ABLE TO ACCESS

IT IN AN EQUITABLE WAY AND

GET A PIECE OF THIS PIE?

BAYNE: AND RIGHT NOW, I

MEAN--LYRIC UNDERLINED IT FIRST

WITH ACCESS TO SPACE, PUBLIC

SPACE AND THE RIGHT TO BE, THE

RIGHT TO EXPRESS IN PUBLIC

SPACE. I THINK WE'RE REALLY

THINKING ABOUT NOW RESILIENCE

IN THESE SPACES AND WHAT IT

MEANS TO LOOK AT THE NEXUS OF

SERVICES, CULTURE, AND HEALING

THAT IS GOING TO BE KIND OF OUR

FUTURE WHEN IT COMES TO PUBLIC

SPACES, SO I THINK THOSE ARE A

LOT OF THINGS THAT ARE RACKING

AROUND MY BRAIN RIGHT NOW

WHEN IT COMES TO THIS ISSUE.

HAWTHORNE: THE WAY IN WHICH WE

HAVE A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS,

THE RACIAL JUSTICE CRISIS, AND

A CLIMATE CRISIS PLAYING OUT AT

THE SAME TIME IS REALLY

UNPRECEDENTED. YOU KNOW, I

SUPPOSE ONE COULD SAY IT OFFERS

UNPRECEDENTED OPPORTUNITIES.

I'VE BEEN REALLY TRYING TO STAY

AWAY FROM THAT KIND OF LANGUAGE

BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE ARE

SUFFERING, SO MANY PEOPLE ARE

LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS, SO MANY

PEOPLE ARE JUST LOOKING FOR A

LIFELINE AT THIS MOMENT

IN RESPONSE TO

AND IN DEALING WITH ALL

3 OF THOSE.

WOO: WHAT'S ALREADY GOING ON IN

TERMS OF THE WAYS THAT PUBLIC

SPACE IS BEING RECONFIGURED

BOTH AT THE LEVEL OF POLICY AND

ALSO JUST AT THE LEVEL OF

ACTUAL HUMAN ACTIONS LIKE THE

INFORMAL?

HAWTHORNE: RIGHT. I THINK THAT

IT TOOK A WHILE FOR EVEN THE

MEDICAL COMMUNITY, TO SAY

NOTHING OF FOLKS WORKING ON

POLICY, TO REALLY THINK ABOUT

WHAT THE IMMEDIATE LESSONS ARE

ABOUT HOW THIS VIRUS OPERATES.

I MEAN, WE WERE IN THE DARK FOR

SO LONG, AND I REMEMBER AT THE

BEGINNING OF THE CRISIS--I'M

SURE EVERYBODY RECALLS--HOW

MANY PHOTOGRAPHS WE ALL SAW ON

THE FRONT PAGE OF NEWSPAPERS

AND THEIR WEB SITES OF EMPTY

PUBLIC SPACES. REMEMBER, THERE

WAS ALWAYS THOSE SLIDE SHOWS OF,

YOU KNOW, MILLENNIUM PARK,

CHAMPS-ELYSEES, TIMES SQUARE

TOTALLY DEVOID OF PEOPLE, AND

THE MESSAGE THAT THAT SENT WAS

THAT THERE WAS SOME DANGER

IN PUBLIC SPACE OR BEING OUTSIDE

WHEN, IN FACT, PUBLIC SPACES

WERE BEING CLOSED AS A WAY TO

KEEP--AND I THINK WE LEARNED

THIS LESSON MORE OVER TIME--THEY

WERE REALLY CLOSED TO KEEP

PEOPLE FROM GOING FROM ONE

INTERIOR SPACE TO ANOTHER. SO

THE FIRST THING I'D SAY IS I

THINK, PARTICULARLY IN THE

MESSAGES WE SENT OR THE WAYS IN

WHICH WE SYMBOLIZE THE ROLE OF

PUBLIC SPACE HERE, WE GOT OFF

TO AN UNFORTUNATE START

FROM THAT POINT OF VIEW.

WOO: I BARELY HAVE GONE OUTSIDE.

LIKE, I'VE BARELY BEEN OUT

SINCE MARCH EXCEPT FOR TO THE

LOCAL PARK. YOU KNOW, I CAN

SOMETIMES SEE THINGS OUT MY

WINDOW, BUT, LIKE WHEN YOU--YOU

KNOW, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO,

LIKE, YOUR WHOLE KIND OF

PROFESSIONAL FOCUS IS PEOPLE,

HOW ARE PEOPLE USING THE

STREETS?

KELKAR: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT

HAPPENED PRETTY EARLY ON IN THE

PANDEMIC IN THE CITY OF L.A.

WAS A BAN ON STREET VENDING

OR, LIKE, AN EFFECTIVE BAN ON

THE WORK THAT THEY DO, AND

THAT'S REALLY DIFFICULT FOR

STREET VENDORS BECAUSE THAT'S

THEIR LIFELINE. THEY'RE VERY

LOW-INCOME ENTREPRENEURS.

THEY'RE BUSINESS OWNERS.

THEY'RE JUST TRYING TO MAKE

SURE THEY MAKE ENDS MEET, AND

JUST LIKE EVERYBODY WHO'S BEEN

AFFECTED BY THE PANDEMIC AND THE

ECONOMIC CRISIS THAT'S ENSUED,

YOU KNOW, BUT THEY'RE VERY LOW

INCOME TYPICALLY. THERE WAS

A BAD MESSAGE COMING FROM POLICY

SAYING THAT STREET VENDORS WERE

NOT A SOLUTION TO THIS ISSUE,

WHEREAS I PERSONALLY--AND I KNOW

A WHOLE MOVEMENT OF FOLKS WHO

BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE VERY MUCH

A SOLUTION TO THIS ISSUE, AND

THEY ARE THE MOST EQUIPPED

TO BE ABLE TO TRANSITION

THEIR BUSINESS INTO

A PANDEMIC-COMPLIANT--AN

INDEPENDENT AND COMPLIANT WAY,

YOU KNOW. SO NOW FAST FORWARD

6 MONTHS, THERE'S BEEN A LOT

THAT'S HAPPENED IN THE CITY

OF L.A. TO ALLOW FOR FOLKS

TO BE OUTSIDE AND UTILIZE

THE SPACE IN A GREAT WAY.

BAYNE: I'VE BEEN WATCHING THIS

CITY KIND OF EVOLVE THROUGH

THIS PROCESS. YOU KNOW, I

APPRECIATE LYRIC'S CONVERSATION

AROUND, YOU KNOW, THE DYNAMICS

OF PUBLIC SPACE RIGHT NOW IN

TERMS OF, LIKE--LIKE, FOR

CICLAVIA, WE'VE THOUGHT MORE

ABOUT STREET VENDING MORE IN

THESE LAST FEW MONTHS AND THE

DYNAMIC OF THE NEGOTIATIONS OF

THE STREET SPACE BETWEEN

BUSINESSES, STREET VENDORS,

PEDESTRIANS, WHEELCHAIRS. I

MEAN, SO MANY PEOPLE ARE NOW

VYING FOR THAT PUBLIC SPACE, FOR

THAT SIDEWALK, FOR THAT STREET

SPACE, AND I'VE ALWAYS BEEN VERY

AWARE OF THE CONFLICTS THAT

EXIST IN THOSE SPACES, BUT I

THINK THEY'VE COME MORE

TO BEAR IN THIS MOMENT

WHERE EVERYBODY NOW IS

FIGHTING FOR THAT SIDEWALK.

WOO: YOU BROUGHT UP THIS IDEA,

TAFARAI, OF KIND OF LIKE A

STRUGGLE OVER WHO AND WHO GETS

ACCESS TO THE SPACE. THERE'S A

FINITE AMOUNT OF SPACE. HOW DO

YOU DECIDE WHO GETS ACCESS TO

IT? YOU KNOW, WHAT IS SORT OF,

LIKE, THE DEFAULT SOLUTION THAT

WE KIND OF--THAT WE SEEM TO BE

HEADING TOWARDS RIGHT NOW, AND,

LIKE, WHAT ARE SOME

INTERVENTIONS OR SOME

ALTERNATIVES THAT THAT YOU CAN

IMAGINE, LIKE, WOULD BE BETTER

THAN THE DEFAULT?

BAYNE: YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU LOOK

AT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MANY OF

THE CITIES, SO MANY OTHER CITIES

HAVE BEEN WAY MORE DYNAMIC

ABOUT WHAT THEY'RE DOING WITH

THEIR STREET SPACE. YOU KNOW,

AND I FAULT ALL OF US. YOU

KNOW, LIKE I JUST FEEL LIKE THE

DEFAULT ABOUT HOW FLEXIBLE WE

ARE WITH HOW WE USE THAT

ASPHALT, IT'S BEEN VERY

FRUSTRATING FOR, I THINK, A LOT

OF PEOPLE. LIKE, I HAVE A SLOW

STREET NEAR MY HOUSE, AND I BIKE

IT EVERY DAY TWO MILES. IT

GIVES ME GREAT EXERCISE IN A WAY

THAT I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO BIKE

IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD NORMALLY.

SLOW STREETS IS A PROJECT BY

LOS ANGELES

DEPARTMENT--LADOT--DEPARTMENT

OF TRANSPORTATION TO

ESSENTIALLY--SIMPLY TAKE A

RESIDENTIAL STREET IN YOUR

NEIGHBORHOOD FOR MAYBE A MILE

SEGMENT, TWO-MILE SEGMENTS, AND

YOU BASICALLY PUT A-FRAMES IN

THE STREET AND DESIGNATE WITH

THE A-FRAMES THAT IT'S FOR

PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS. SO

SLOW STREET. SO CAR TRAFFIC IS

EXPECTED TO GO THROUGH VERY

SLOWLY. IT JUST MAKES IT TO A

MIXED USE STREET ESSENTIALLY FOR

SEGMENTS IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS.

SO I THINK IT'S BEEN A GREAT

LITTLE PROGRAM, BUT IT'S ALSO

SO LIMITED TO JUST THESE

NEIGHBORHOOD STREETS, AND

THAT ENERGY IS SOMETHING THAT WE

SHOULD BE BUILDING ON FOR,

YOU KNOW, OUR INFRASTRUCTURE

AROUND SUPPORTING LOCAL,

SMALL BUSINESSES, YOU KNOW,

ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO BE

OUT IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOODS.

WOO: WHAT, LIKE, WOULD BE A

NON-DEFAULT, LIKE, EXPANSIVE

IDEA OF HOW WE COULD BE

RECONFIGURING THIS? ARE THERE

THINGS THAT COME TO MIND OR

THAT SEEM LIKE MODELS OR GOALS?

HAWTHORNE: DEFAULT HERE FOR SO

LONG AND FOR TOO LONG HAS BEEN

CAR-MOBILITY, MOTORDOM,

ACCESS FOR DRIVERS, AND, YOU

KNOW, WE SPENT ALMOST 75 YEARS

BUILDING UP A CITY THAT WAS

DESIGNED TO PRIORITIZE THAT

KIND OF MOVEMENT, AND CICLAVIA

AND SOME OTHER EVENTS HAVE BEEN

HUGELY INFLUENTIAL AND

BEGINNING TO DISLODGE THAT, AND

SO MUCH OF THE WORK WE FACE, I

THINK, IN REMAKING CITIES HAS

NOT TO DO WITH MAKING AS MUCH

AS MUCH AS UNMAKING OR

DISMANTLING, AND THAT'S

CERTAINLY TRUE WHEN YOU THINK

ABOUT THE CULTURE OF MOTORDOM IN

LOS ANGELES. THE LAST DECADE HAS

BEEN FULL OF EXPERIMENTS IN SORT

OF EPHEMERAL OR TEMPORARY

CHANGES TO THE STREETSCAPE THAT

ALLOWED US TO SEE AND USE THAT

SPACE IN NEW WAYS, AND CICLAVIA

IS ABSOLUTELY AT THE HEART

OF THAT, BUT WE ALSO HAD THE

ENDEAVOR SPACE SHUTTLE MOVING TO

THE CITY, WHICH WAS INCREDIBLY

INFLUENTIAL AND DREW AN

INCREDIBLE CROSS-SECTION OF

FOLKS OUT INTO PUBLIC SPACE TO

SEE THIS VERY STRANGE SIGHT. WE

HAD THE ROCK GOING THROUGH THE

STREETS OF L.A. GOING TO LACMA,

THE LEVITATED MASS PIECE,

AND THEN WE'VE HAD VARIOUS WAVES

OF PROTESTS, WHICH HAVE BEEN,

AGAIN, HUGELY INFLUENTIAL, SO

BEGINNING WITH THE IMMIGRATION

RIGHTS PROTESTS THAT FILLED

THE STREETS IN 2006,

EVEN BEFORE CICLAVIA, AND I

THINK THE CHALLENGE THAT AWAITS

US NOW--AND THIS IS A REALLY

GOOD MOMENT, THRESHOLD TO THINK

ABOUT IT IS HOW MANY OF THOSE

CAN BECOME PERMANENT, NOT JUST

THE ONES THAT WERE ALLOWED OR

UNLEASHED BY THE PANDEMIC, BUT

THESE ARE FORCES THAT HAVE BEEN

MOVEMENTS, FORCES, THAT HAVE

BEEN BUILDING FOR MUCH LONGER

THAN A DECADE, AND WE'RE AT A

MOMENT WHERE WE CAN THINK ABOUT

WHICH ONES OF THOSE I THINK WE

CAN TRY TO FORMALIZE OR MAKE

PERMANENT, AND THAT'S REALLY THE

CHALLENGE AND THE OPPORTUNITY

THAT WE FACE AT THIS MOMENT.

KELKAR: IN L.A., WE KNOW THAT

THERE'S BOTH THE UNHOUSED

POPULATIONS THAT EXIST IN

PUBLIC PARKS, AND THERE'S ALSO

STREET VENDORS, WHO DO A LOT OF

WORK THERE, SO FIGURING OUT HOW

WE CAN EITHER CHANGE POLICIES

TO BE MORE INCLUSIVE TO ALLOW

FOR THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OR

THE SUPPORT THAT PEOPLE

EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS NEED

AND LEAN INTO THE DIFFERENT

SYSTEMS THAT HAVE BEEN BUILT

THAT BOTH TAFARAI AND

CHRISTOPHER HAVE TALKED ABOUT IN

TERMS OF STUFF LIKE MUTUAL AID

AND HOW WE SUPPORT THE WAYS THAT

THE COMMUNITY HAS CREATED

SOLUTIONS AND DO THAT IN A

RESPONSIBLE, CODIFIED WAY SO

THAT THEY DON'T HAVE TO KEEP

DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES. LIKE,

WE NEED TO BE BETTER TOGETHER.

WOO: IS THERE A LESSON THAT

THIS TIME SEEMS TO HAVE TAUGHT

YOU OF, LIKE, HERE'S SOMETHING

I FOUND OUT ABOUT PUBLIC SPACE

IN THE LAST 6 MONTHS?

HAWTHORNE: I WANT TO STRESS

THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS

HAVE BEEN COMING FROM

COMMUNITIES, FROM THOSE

PROTESTS, FROM THE SOCIAL

MOVEMENTS, AND TO A CERTAIN

EXTENT WE'RE TRYING ON THE CITY

SIDE TO LEARN FROM, TO LISTEN

TO, TO ACCOMMODATE THOSE, BUT I

THINK, AGAIN, THE LESSONS HAVE

REALLY COME NOT IN ANY TOP-DOWN

WAY. THEY'VE COME FROM

COMMUNITIES AND FROM ALL OF US

TRYING TO PAY ATTENTION TO HOW

SPACE IS BEING RECONFIGURED.

WOO: THANKS FOR WATCHING WITH

US. THERE'S A LOT TO THINK

ABOUT AFTER LISTENING TO ALL

THOSE DIFFERENT VOICES, BUT I

HOPE YOU FOUND THIS

CONVERSATION HELPFUL,

INSIGHTFUL, OR EVEN INSPIRING.

I KNOW THESE TALKS HAVE BEEN

REALLY USEFUL TO ME, AND I HOPE

THAT THEY WERE OF SOME USE TO

YOU, AS WELL. WE'VE ONLY SHOWN

YOU A LITTLE BIT OF THE

CONVERSATIONS WE'VE HAD, BUT IF

YOU GO TO KCET.ORG, YOU WILL

FIND MANY MORE VIDEOS, ARTICLES,

AND PERFORMANCES FROM ACROSS

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. THANKS FOR

SPENDING TIME WITH US. STAY

SAFE, BE WELL AND TAKE CARE.

ANNOUNCER: MAJOR FUNDING FOR

THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY

THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES

DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING WAS PROVIDED

BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR

THE ARTS AND THE LOS ANGELES

COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND

CULTURE.


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