Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stories from the struggle for home

Now through November 2, while you wait for your laundry, engage in a cycle of stories.

At Wash and Play Lotto Laundromat in Fort Greene, an exhibit of "Housing is a Human Right: Stories from the Struggle for Home," an ongoing multiamedia project, will bring artists in to create and perform public art focused on the issue of housing.

Created by Michael Premo, a Laundromat Project Create Change artist-in-residence, and former StoryCorps facilitator Rachel Falcone, HRR is an ongoing multimedia documentary portrait of the struggle for home in New York City. Composed of oral narratives and photographs, along with testimonies and memories of home, woven and remixed with the help of turntablist DJ Oja Vincent, this collection of viscerally honest, first-person narratives serve as a reminder that home is as tenuous a space in New York City as the shelter that sustains it.

"I saw my community being blown away,” says Premo, a resident of Bed-Stuy. “Everyday there’d be a store that would be closed, a neighbor you wouldn’t see anymore. And with these changes and gentrification I started thinking about how this has happened before with the Great Migration, so-called urban renewal and I became fascinated with the concept of home and cycles of displacement.”

As chronicled by HHR, a woman whose dream home was foreclosed on while she battled cervical cancer. A small business owner on the verge of buying her first home spirals into debt after her successful store is displaced to make way for luxury apartments. A slumlord quietly moves an elderly couple’s belongings, piece by piece, from their home of 20 years into a barely habitable apartment to make room for higher paying tenants.

See it in action at Wash and Play Lotto Laundromat, 81 Lafayette Ave., now through Nov. 2. And watch the trailer here:

Housing is a Human Right Teaser from Housing is a Human Right on Vimeo.


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