Artists Against Gentrification


Friday's Artists Against Gentrification event is poignantly timed to coincide with Turnstile Pottery's eviction from 2207 Gottingen, the future site of sparkly new condos. Starting at 7pm, short films by Anchor Archive's Sonia Edworthy and artist Sarah Mangle will be projected onto the wall at the future site of more new condos, the Falkland-Gottingen intersection—or if the weather's crappy, inside Menz Bar.

The neighbourhood walk evolved from an existing tour. "We were talking about the historical context of gentrification or change in the neighbourhood, and about the economic and political context of the process of gentrification, which is really complex," she says. "The point of the event is to highlight local experiences of gentrification while explaining the bigger picture behind it, of development and displacement," says Edworthy.

A walk through the neighbourhood will provide an opportunity for alternative thinking about the complex issue. "We have an understanding and an analysis of gentrification and how it happens and that it isn't the only option for everything to be turned into condos," she says. "While they might be good in some cases and development is good, there needs to be a process of community development where it's accessible, where the neighbourhood is a community and not just a site of development."

Edworthy says that while you can't homogenize them as a group, "as a population affected, artists are actually a group highlighted as the first wave of gentrification, as well as being displaced by gentrification eventually. I identify as an artist living in this neighbourhood, and Anchor Archive is also an arts centre or collective, as well as Turnstile, and there are a lot of people who are part of the arts community living here so it's a relevant focus. It is such a huge discussion—it affects so many different people that it's really effective to narrow it down. It's an open invitation, but it focuses on artists."

Following the tour, at 8pm, there's a live performance and a launch of Capp Larsen's north-end gentrification zine at 2207 Gottingen. Larsen also lives in the building, and faces eviction, as do all its other tenants and businesses. Then, put on your thinking cap, for an 8:30pm brainstorming session.

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