Artists Protest Gentrification In Bushwick Via Christmas Lights
It’s no secret that over the past few years Bushwick, Brooklyn has become one of the hottest and “It” neighborhoods in New York City. Naturally gentrification became the name of the game and one by one apartment buildings turned into lofts and bodegas became coffee shops—but not without protest.
Thirsty developers and businessmen looking to capitalize have been snatching up property, but not everyone is interested in selling out. Those refusing to sell have experienced all sorts of harassment from overeager buyers who won’t take no for an answer.
Such was the case with Bushwick resident Pati Rodriguez who along with other members of her community founded the “Mi Casa No Es Su Casa: Illumination Against Gentrification.” This public protest uses 21 illuminated signs spread across the neighborhood as a demonstration of their refusal to sellout.
Reports DNAinfo New York:
The signs went up late last week and will stay lit into the new year.
“It’s not like we’re going to protest in Midtown Manhattan,” said Rodriguez. “[This is] straight from the houses of the people who are affected and that’s the power of this art protest.”
The signs were built in collaboration with Mayday Community Space and the NYC Light Brigade and funded through a GoFundMe campaign.
Organizers hoped the signs would spark conversation in the neighborhood.
“They cant be ignored, you can’t walk by and not read [them],” said Bruno Daniel, 28, a community organizer involved in the project.
“The signs make the invisible visible.”
Regardless of what these developers and buyers may have thought, these Bushwick natives aren’t the same as those that colonialists dealt with in the 17th century and aren’t going to put a price on their history or culture.
See more of their work on the following pages.