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Taking root without taking over: Two case studies on the micropolitics between art, gentrification, and agency.

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dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor.advisor Sternfeld, Nora
dc.contributor.author El Broul, Dahlia
dc.date.accessioned 2018-05-31T09:19:01Z
dc.date.available 2018-05-31T09:19:01Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.uri https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/31401
dc.description.abstract Is there a way to act together in cities that are increasingly dividing us? Many see artists and galleries as a bellwether for the first wave of displacement of low-income individuals and families in economically vulnerable communities. This MA paper examines how cultural institutions—including galleries and universities—play a role in gentrification, through a qualitative research methodology, using two neighbourhoods as case studies, and by interviewing five locals from each district. The thesis seeks to go further than a moralistic binary of separating good from bad practices—instead cultivating ways to address the various entanglements and contradictions within gentrification processes, and of cultural workers, who find themselves at the intersection of agency and precarity. The first locality examined is Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, USA, where arguments made by rooted residents dragged art spaces out of the sanctum of tacit valorisation. Here a clear politicised conflict exposed art and the cultural spaces of display/inquiry, as neither harmless, neutral, nor apolitical. Mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion become the framework for a subtle and gradual encroachment in Nord Holland, Kassel, Germany, the second area of research. The juxtaposition goes beyond using the two locations as a comparison, to preferably laying out on the table the multitudes, solidarities, fractures, traumas, and contradictions. The study raises questions of the unseen ripple effects by artists—flows of normalising or disrupting, devaluing or inflating, reverberations that are not felt sometimes for decades—asking how can we make the distinction between practices that enrich the community and those of exploitation and extraction? How can artists and educators address our ability to take a political stand when material reality cannot remove itself from institutional entanglements? From the perspective of an artist, educator, and researcher, this paper engages in the possibilities of another future relationship to spatial usage—seeking solidarity with a community by working with existing structures to address relationships between art, culture, and displacement. en
dc.format.extent 167
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title Taking root without taking over: Two case studies on the micropolitics between art, gentrification, and agency. en
dc.type G2 Pro gradu, diplomityö fi
dc.contributor.school Taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu fi
dc.contributor.school School of Arts, Design and Architecture en
dc.contributor.department Department of Art en
dc.contributor.department Taiteen laitos fi
dc.subject.keyword accountability en
dc.subject.keyword agency en
dc.subject.keyword artistic practice en
dc.subject.keyword community en
dc.subject.keyword contemporary art en
dc.subject.keyword education en
dc.subject.keyword gentrification en
dc.subject.keyword racism en
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201805312831
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Maisterin opinnäyte fi
dc.contributor.supervisor Sternfeld, Nora
dc.programme Visual Culture and Comtemporary Art en
dc.programme ViCCA en


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