“I remember when Oakland was a place that you didn’t wana claim you were from… That’s how far back I go with Oakland.” — Oakland native, Karen Seneferu

SoOoooooo Gentrification. It’s a thing. And while it’s not necessarily a new thing to The Town (or The Bay, or let’s face it, any cultural hub within this system that prioritizes capitalist ideals)… but it’s definitely a real thing. And it’s something we don’t think should just be written off as a “fad topic,” but rather, a reality of culture which is a part of the discourse of our lives here in Oakland Californ eye aye.

“The ‘pro’ is we all like beauty. The ‘con’ is we live in a society where people believe only a few people are supposed to live well.” —Bisola Marignay, 10 year Oakland resident.

Many of us have witnessed or been effected by gentrification directly, and while we might be able to agree that it’s resulted in prettier buildings and public spaces, it equally has resulted in the eradication (or, frankly, erasure) of people who have created the culture that makes Oakland… Oakland.

The Discourse Continued is a series created as a followup to Openi‘s experimental documentary-mixtape, The Discourse, which is comprised of couch conversations with POC makers about life, love, knowlege, and transcending the rat-race. In our most recent installment, we turn the lens onto new subject matters to do our part in keeping the conversation alive. So, the VCF Squad took to the streets to talk to Oaklanders about their relationship with Oakland, gentrification, and how we can hold space in these changing times. Organizers, business owners, developers, those born and raised, those pushed outta frisco, artists, teachers…  As expected, different people had pretty different views, but we need this conversation.

The film is expected to be full-length film (gentrification is… a complicated subject matter), so sit tight! We still have some more folx to talk to. In the meantime, Jing put together this teaser of what we have so far. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Till then, the discourse continues…

If you’d like to add your voice to this collective history-telling, or donate to the production of this project, email us at veuxdochild@gmail.com. 🙂