About the Narratives of Displacement Oral History Project
The Narratives of Displacement and Resistance Project is a multi-sited collaborative endeavor to record oral histories and video work with community partners on both sides of the Bay. As of 2016, our work in Alameda County is growing by the week, though the San Francisco narrative project, which began first, continues to accumulate stories as well. Check out our Narrative map here!
San Francisco Side
Today in San Francisco, cranes litter the horizon as the city gains international attention for skyrocketing rents and exponentially growing income inequality. Headlines are filled with statistics about the high cost of housing and the latest high profile eviction. This moment in San Francisco is one of rapid flux as neighborhoods quickly become more expensive, and as longtime residents are pushed out so that real estate speculators can create housing for people with more affluence. Longtime businesses are evaporating overnight, only to be replaced by the newest coffee shop or a tech start-up. Even our public spaces are disintegrating as private shuttles crowd our public bus stops and streets, and as public playgrounds become increasingly privatized through app-based reservation systems.
The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project’s “Narratives of Displacement: Oral History Project” aims to document these changes in San Francisco by foregrounding the stories of people who have been, who are being, or who were being, displaced. By collecting oral histories the project creates a living archive of people and places, documenting deep and detailed neighborhood and personal histories. In doing so the project creates a counter-narrative to more dominant archives that elide detail and attention to legacy, culture, and loss in the city. Our map lives online to be interacted with by the public, but also offline in physical spaces including our current zine project and our narrative mural in Clarion Alley. While we are interested in stories of dispossession, we are not interested in reducing people to their evictions, and thus instead focus on the intimacies of personal relationships to shifts in spatiality as processes of gentrification unevenly unfold. We recognize that displacement transpires in kaleidoscopic forms, and that loss is corporeal, cultural, haunting, and real.
Participants in the oral history project include, though are not limited to: Erin McElroy, Manissa Maharawal, Manon Vergerio, Marko Muir, Karyn Smoot, Andrew Szeto, Eva Mas Silberstein, Bianca Ceralvo, Karla Gallardo, Carla Wojczuk, Jin Zhu, Devin McCutchin, Avery Heine, Alexi Lacey, Zeph Fishlyn, Carly Wais, Natasha Weiss, Zoe Wong-Weissman, Micropixie, Ariana Allensworth, Joe Mellin, Nick Castro, Samantha Kaplan, Mike Hendrickson, Anabelle Bolanos, Joey Plaster, Kim Cirella, Becca Gourevitch, Elsa Ramos, Kathleen Coll and her Urban Politics class at USF, Delan Chan and her Urban Studies class at Stanford University, and Nancy Mirabal.