LA
2018
Event Type: 
Panel
Room: 
Room 4
Timeslot: 
SUNDAY August 26, 2018 - 1:30pm to 2:45pm
Host/Sponsor(s): 
Event Organizer: 
Description: 
The right to the city is a cultural right as much as it is a political and social one. Over the past fifty years, capitalism has dramatically changed the character and rhythm of the city. As rents have gone up and schools have been neglected and privatized, our alienation from urban environments has been underlined. This is illustrated and concentrated in the relationship of both governments working and poor people to art. As the urban core is gentrified, struggling artists, musicians and writers are displaced alongside people of color and the poor. Even as mid-level and DIY art and performance spaces are shuttered and culture workers struggle from lack of government spending on the arts, artists and their art are frequently used (consciously and/or unconsciously) as a key part in gentrification projects. Recent protests of art galleries expanding into working-class neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color underline the problem. Strategies to counter the use of art in gentrification are not merely about the defense of art as a concept; they are about the defense of art as a right in how working people engage with and shape their environments. They must take into account the political and material realities of multiple (overlapping) constituencies. This includes reckoning with the current political and economic state of art, music, literature and culture in the neoliberal age, their weakened position in relation to both the forces that commodify it and movements for genuine liberation. This panel will examine the current conjuncture of art and geographic political economy, and suggest strategies that re-engage working people with their right to expression and liberation.

Participants

Alexander Billet is a writer and cultural critic originally from Washington, DC, now based in Los Angeles. He is a founding editor at Red Wedge, and has been published in Jacobin, In These Times, the International Socialist Review, and Marx & Philosophy Review of Books. He is a member of... Read more
Adam Turl is an artist and editor at Red Wedge. He grew up in southern Illinois. He has a BFA from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and an MFA from the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in Saint Louis. Turl's exhibits include 13 Baristas (Brett Wesley... Read more
Magally Miranda is a PhD candidate at UCLA and is part of the Viewpoint editorial collective. She is active in anti-gentrification activism in Los Angeles.