Prior to this project, I would frequently have lunch at the barrio's local institution, Las Quarto Milpas. One day on my way to lunch, I noticed multiple families from the 1700 block of Logan Avenue moving out. I learned of the block’s upcoming transition, and began photographing the changes. Since then, many pockets between Chicano Park and 16th Avenue have changed significantly, transforming the barrio into a new neighborhood.
In 2007, locals mistook me for a city developer wondering why would I be interested in the area’s changes rather than Chicano Park. The area is known for Chicano Park with its murals on the bridge supports, which is well recognized and documented. But my focus has been on the changes occurring outside the park, with the park grounding my journey.
What I learned from spending time in the barrio, is that the area is a contested space. Barrio Logan, under the forces of urban development and ballpark encroachment, has been in a state of constant change and redefinition. As an outsider looking in, my challenge has been to capture the multiple narratives of those who inhabit this multilayered place.
These observations and lessons became the defining questions for this place-based audio tour: Who is displaced? What comes and goes and who decides? How do changes in land use dictate a sense of place and identity, or (re)construct a community? Why does culture, nationality and race predict how and where we live and spend our time?