Streetopia: Art As Prefigurative Politics Against Displacement

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Streetopia: Art As Prefigurative Politics Against Displacement
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Streetopia: Art As Prefigurative Politics Against Displacement says
Erick Lyle, a writer, musician, activist, and zine editor, is bringing his anthology "Streetopia" (Booklyn, 2015) to Detroit, as the basis for a panel discussion on ways to use art to encourage mutual aid organizing and prefigurative politics against displacement.

Streetopia was originally an art show, bringing together some 100+ artists/writers/activists with residents of the Tenderloin to consider utopian aspiration for San Francisco, and use art as a tool to organize and amplify resistance to the city's redevelopment plans. When the new mayor of San Francisco announced plans to redevelop the Tenderloin -- the city's last low-income neighborhood -- into a "Dot-Com Corridor" and "The Tenderloin Arts District," Streetopia was launched in response as a massive citywide festival of opposition. It took the form of an anti-gentrification "art fair" in order to draw widespread public attention to the urgency of immanent displacement in the neighborhood. The show also featured a Free Cafe -- a community kitchen run with SRO hotel residents in a gallery that served two free meals a day for the five weeks of the show's run -- and five weeks of nightly free events/skill shares/discussions.

The art show then became "Streetopia" the book, bringing together all of the art with new essays by Sarah Schulman, Rebecca Solnit, Chris Kraus, and more that consider the effectiveness of the show's projects as well as the context of rampant worldwide displacement.

Erick lived in San Francisco for some fifteen years, until being displaced by an earlier wave of gentrification. Now based in Brooklyn, he join Detroit-based artists and organizers such as Antonio Cosme (and others to be announced soon) for a wide-ranging conversation about anti-gentrification efforts here and elsewhere.

Hosted by Detroit Eviction Defense

Free, although we'll pass the hat to pitch in for use of St. John's and to help with Erick's travel costs.

Copies of "Streetopia" will also be for sale at the event.
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By: Detroit Eviction Defense

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