When I began this project in 2007, I remembered back to when family members in LA would share stories of homes being in the way of construction for Interstate 5. I will never forget thinking how one’s home could be bulldozed for the sake of urban expansion. So when I noticed that more than half of the 1700 block of Logan Avenue was to be uprooted, I instantly grabbed my camera and began documenting the changes as they unfolded.
In its original format, Re/Generation Barrio Logan is a place-based mobile-app walking tour. It explores an alternative narrative to gentrification based on a 7-year study of urban development in San Diego’s Barrio Logan. Triggered by the decade-old Petco Park Baseball Stadium, ballpark encroachment has transformed the barrio into a hip industrial arts district.
For over a hundred years, the barrio has experienced destructive changes in land use as a result of unjust city zoning. However, a history of racialization coupled with the Chicano arts movement made Barrio Logan into a rich cultural landscape. As the neighborhood is once again threatened by displacement, the community is eager to hold on to the place they have made their own.
Today, local residents mobilize to fight against the usual displacement caused by urban development, in favor for urban change to benefit the community. This project captures this phenomenon through photography and recorded conversations to investigate both the transitions and continuities of a community that refuses to be dismantled by outside forces.
This project was part of my MFA thesis at San Diego State University (2014). There, I want to thank John Putman, Roberto Hernández, Richard Keely, Irene Lara, and my thesis chair, Kim Stringfellow. And of course, none of this would have been possible without those who participated, a million thanks.
Funding for project was made possible by the Clara De Escudero Scholarship in Chicano Studies.