What Role Do Artists Play in Gentrification? (1 Viewer)


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Gentrification fascinates and ultimately depresses me, having lived through it in a few different places. It always seems to start with artists and musicians and other creative types, but this article really drives home the reality that the young artists moving in to lower-income neighborhoods these days are mostly college educated careerists.

That really changes the whole face of gentrification, even if the end result is the same. The college educated careerists were usually the second part of gentrification, coming in after the poor artists established an area (and forcing the artists out). Now they seem to be cutting the non-college educated, non-careerists out of the equation completely.

The article is mostly about New York, but it could be about any big city.
One of my favorite films from last year was 'the last black man in san francisco', check it out, you might like it.
It was very well done, the point of the movie was: it was not the people that lived in san francisco that lost the city, was the city that lost the people, because they made the city, not the other way around, and if you don't have it, you can't keep it, that goes with either money, or talent / creativity. You have money, you buy the city, you end up losing it because you didn't had what was necessary to keep it.
I didn't knew what gentrification was, like, i knew what it was in theory, i didn't knew what it was until it got into porto and lisbon. What i think, before it became a real-estate commerce deal, is that, people are drawn to authenticity, something that is lacking more and more, and artist and musicians came, especially to lisbon, a city full of music, not talking about the fucking madona here, that's pos-gentrification. These cities are cheap, and if you want to keep creating you have everything you need, authenticity, lots of influences in the same place, diversity, and it's cheap. After a while it becomes popular and it starts to smell of money.
Now, for some people it might not be, but for me it's a tragedy, it's like, art being burned away, those cities are the greatest art there is, and if they are not, they are at least the greatest environment, the amount of influences and history there sometimes is overwhelming, but i guess i just started to realize this when i saw it going away.
One of my favorite films from last year was 'the last black man in san francisco', check it out, you might like it

Sounds interesting. I'll check it out.

I think one of the many reasons for gentrification is the growing mindset some people have when it comes art, and it is this train of thought that "I want to be an artist. That place has a history of artists living in it. Therefore, if I want to be an artist, I MUST move to that place." I've been guilty of this myself. Thinking that a place will provide you with inspiration and talent overnight. While it is true that some places provide artists with more resources (for example, if I was a painter, the amount of resources I could buy in Mexico City would be drastically different from the ones I can probably find in my city), they are not what ignites the fire. I think ultimately experiences and the inspiration you get from them are what create art, and experiences can be had anywhere.

There are many examples of this, like the Beat Generation who started the San Francisco bandwagon in the first place, but every time I find myself thinking this way, I don't look further than Bukowski. I mean, he never left LA for San Francisco to pursue writing because that was where it's at. He didn't move to New York because he wanted to make it there, he moved there because he was looking for a job. And when he was in LA, he didn’t ride with the artsy crowd, the artsy crowd eventually found him and hopped in on his success.

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