Colour me pink and yellow and take selfies with me, please.
I have complicated feelings towards neighbourhood beautifying projects. In particular, projects that promote themselves as “activating space” or making streets more “walkable.” Many of these projects — many of which are funded by municipal government — overlook immediate communities in favour of populating new hashtags. In the downtown core and the DTES especially, this gentrification and displacement under the guise of reinvigoration has the capacity to encourage stigmatization of homeless and low-income people. And for what? A pretty photo-op against a colourful façade? There is a special type of arrogance that assumes an industrial or city landscape can only be made beautiful with bright colour. What irritates me most is the apparent lack of community consultation in imagery and location. Or maybe longtime residents, businesses and binners are consulted when a colourful splash pops up in a DTES alley? I’m curious to know.
This summer as you dare yourselves into the ocean, sip radlers in parks, embark on bike adventures to treehouses, and walk the streets hunting for night buses, take it in. Enjoy yourselves, but don’t forget the contexts that have brought you to where you are, and the people you share these places with.
Paint has the power to draw attention to surroundings, but it also has the capacity to cover them up. What paint can’t do is erase the stories of a land.
From September through January 2018, Discorder and CiTR 101.9FM will have a satellite location at PLOT, Access Gallery’s new project space at 222 East Georgia Street in Vancouver’s Chinatown. We will be using PLOT as a hub for magazine and radio content production in collaboration with neighbourhood residents, artists and organizations. Activities will include weekly radio dispatches, workshops related to media democracy and technical training, live broadcasts of events and panel discussions, and content meetings open to the public. Thank you, Access Gallery for the space to engage and support initiatives in Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside in ways we haven’t before. We’re looking forward to making media more accessible, and helping people tell their own stories.
This Summer Issue features Chinatown Concern Group 唐人街關注組, Gayblevision at VIVO Media Arts Centre, and part two of (In)Accessible Vancouver. We also interview artists Gabi Dao, Prado and Malcolm Biddle, and local musicians weigh in on their favourite spots for our Summer Park Guide. Keagan Perlette offers a little guidance with Tarotscopes on page 12. R.L.A. reviews one of our favourite local festivals, Music Waste, and Under Review ventures further into podcast and book reviews. Our art project is Sam Morgan, who tagged this issue with spot illustrations.
See you in September,
P.S. Discorder will be posting several Web Exclusive interviews, album and music video debuts, and general news throughout the summer months. Visit discorder.ca, or follow us on the social medias for updates.