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Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Public Knowledge artists-in-residence  Bik Van der Pol  have pulled a New Deal scale model of the City—based on 1938 aerial photographs—out of storage crates and into the light. Inspired by the Halprins’ 1970s collective creativity and community planning efforts, their project, “Take Part” will explore local histories with City neighborhood residents as library branches display relevant sections of the model beginning in early 2019. Creators of a 2017 cultural map of southeast San...
Topics: map, cartography, 1938 San Francisco, WPA, wooden map, Southeast San Francisco, Excelsior,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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In lieu of our normal walking tour, given the stay-at-home order issued in San Francisco in early December 2020, we put our tour together on video today (in the rain!) and share it here...
Topics: Sea level rise, King Tide, San Francisco shoreline, Mission Bay, Mission Creek, McCovey Cove,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Chris Carlsson
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: The Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video, showing the remarkable protests that rocked City Hall against the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), is the 10th of a baker's dozen of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix) turned into short videos. I hope it...
Topics: HUAC, House UnAmerican Activities Committee, anti-communism, students, student protest, City Hall,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Chris Carlsson
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eye 467

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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: The Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video, on Harry Bridges, long-time leader of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the namesake of the plaza in front of the Ferry Building, is the 7th of a baker's dozen of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix)...
Topics: Harry Bridges, longshore, longshoring, dockworkers, Port of San Francisco, ILWU, International...
Shaping San Francisco
by Chris Carlsson
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: The Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video, on the odd and hilarious saga of the early 20th century  Eucalpytus "Wood Rush," is the 9th of a baker's dozen of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix) turned into short videos. I hope it will whet your appetite...
Topics: Eucalyptus, hardwood, hardwood famine, hucksters, hustle, get-rich-quick, woodlands, Sutro Forest,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Chris Carlsson
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: The Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video, on the remarkable carving and flattening of hills throughout San Francisco's history, is the 8th of a baker's dozen of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix) turned into short videos. I hope it will whet your appetite for...
Topics: hills, steamshovels, sand dunes, Broadway cut, 2nd Street Cut, Rincon Hill, Irish Hill, Long...
Shaping San Francisco
by Chris Carlsson
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n February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: The Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video is the 4th of a baker's dozen of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix) turned into short videos. I hope it will whet your appetite for both buying the book (available at...
Topics: roads, Mission Plank Road, Oregon fir, wooden roads, sand dunes, bogs, bridges, bay mud, aquifer,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Energy Plan for the Western Man: Art after Capitalism Round table discussion with  Elizabeth Thomas (curator), Sylvie Denis (author), Keith Hennessy (artist), and Andrew Mount (artist), Praba Pilar (artist/educator) at Shaping San Francisco, Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics (518 Valencia St, SF) Part of the "Imagining Post-Capitalism" Festival. Each of the participant’s practice and individual work will be framed with an accent on the post-capitalist future. Largely...
Topics: Art, performance, improvisation, Joseph Beuys
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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An event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the San Francisco State Strike. A discussion will be initiated by leaders and participants of the Strike, as well as an artist who graduated from San Francisco State in Raza Studies and now teaches at State. U.C. Berkeley Professor Waldo E. Martin will moderate the discussion which will touch on what sparked the Strike, how it happened, and the impact it had and continues to have on San Francisco, California, and the country at large.
Topics: student movement, 1968, strike, faculty strike, S.I. Hayakawa, La Raza Studies, Third World...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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From the weird madness of the Reber Plan to dam both ends of the Bay into freshwater lakes in the 1950s to the Save the Bay movement of the early 1960s that helped create the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, we’ve come a long way in a half century. Today’s open shorelines, closed trash dumps, and returning wetlands honor and preserve our greatest public resource. Historian  Chuck Wollenberg and  Steve Goldbeck  from BCDC.
Topics: Bay, landfill, sewage, resilience, dams, earthen dams, fresh water, salt water, crackpot plans,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Touted by the tech industry as a way to preserve livelihoods in a time of automation replacing workers, Universal Basic Income (UBI) is not a new concept.  As a poverty alleviation idea, it has resonance in the EPIC program of 1930s California, and similar ideas were floated by leaders of social movements of the 1960s, including MLK, Jr. and the Black Panthers in their Ten Point Program. Through a discussion of UBI we take a look at the nature of work and classifying invisible work as work,...
Topics: Universal Basic Income, Negative Income Tax, EPIC, Black Panthers 10-point Program, economic...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Hidden San Francisco : Book Release and Birthday! Join Shaping San Francisco’s Chris Carlsson on his 63rd birthday as he presents his new book, Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories . After a quarter century of curating the digital archive at foundsf.org , and conducting bike and walking tours, this book captures the unique and serendipitous connections that course through Shaping San Francisco’s ongoing work.
Topics: history, historiography, San Francisco, guidebook, storytelling, narrative arc, digital media,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Leslie Valentine
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Hugh D'Andrade recounts his experiences with the 1990-91 Gulf War protests and compares them to later experiences in the 2003 Iraq War protests, and discusses politics and his trajectory through San Francisco and Bay Area radicalism c. 1990-2005.... Interview by Leslie Valentine
Topics: Iraq, protests, anti-war, Situationist, anarchist, direct action, politics, movements, art
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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A greeting from Bicis del Pueblo in San Francisco to the attendees of the World Bike Forum #7 in Lima, Peru, February 22-26, 2018.
Topics: bicycles, bikes, youth, talleres, workshops
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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A silent bike ride around the top of Bayview Hill in San Francisco. Views to all directions, and a full circumnavigation of the upper road.
Topics: Bayview Hill, bicycling, views, San Francisco, Visitacion Valley, Hunter's Point
Shaping San Francisco
by Chris Carlsson
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: The Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video, on the surprising role of the United Farmworkers Union in getting DDT banned, is the 6th of a baker's dozen of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix) turned into short videos. I hope it will whet your appetite for both buying...
Topics: pesticides, UFW, Mexican-American, Filipino-American, organizing, California agriculture, organic...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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A "Walk and Talk," featuring Lew Springer (assoc. director of Natural Resources at the Presidio National Park) and Joel Pomerantz (thinkwalks.org and Seep City), along with Shaping San Francisco hosts LisaRuth Elliott and Chris Carlsson. We began at the Crissy Field restoration, and followed the watershed up through the recently opened Quartermaster Reach, Thompson Reach, YMCA Reach, MacArthur Meadow, then up Lover's Lane and the Goldsworthy "Tree Line" before returning to...
Topics: wetlands, riparian corridor, marshes, restoration, habitat, species, National Parks, Presidio,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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The Blue Collar Green Water Art & Culture Collective , made up of workers of the Inlandboatmen's Union who work the Blue and Gold Ferry to Tiburon and Sausalito, provide an hour-long multimedia art experience on the water. In addition to stunning views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, the evening included readings, a short video screening, slideshow and animated video presentation on San Francisco waterfront history, presented by San Francisco Bay maritime working...
Topics: art, work, IBU, ILWU, 20th century labor history, labor, ferries, San Francisco Bay, fiction,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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This is a Shaping San Francisco Urban Forum: Walk & Talk, a popular and compact walk around a part of San Francisco with locals who add knowledge and stories. Saturday June 26, 2021: Dogpatch, Pier 70, Warm Water Cove Explore the ecological, architectural, and social history of the oldest industrial enclave in San Francisco, now taking on new life adjacent to Mission Bay with thousands of residents and businesses pouring in. With informal talks by Peter Linethal of the Potrero Hill Archives...
Topics: Dogpatch, shipyards, Union Ironworks, Bethlehem Steel, Irish Hill, Warm Water Cove, sewers, Save...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Bishop Mark Hurley played an important and largely invisible role in mediating the epic 1968-69 student strike at San Francisco State University. Professor Emeritus William Issel presents his research into Hurley's pivotal role as a Catholic liberal, and recounts his own history in the social gospel movement that helped shape the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Topics: Catholic, liberal, student strike, 1968, mediation, conflict
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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The Jazz of Modern Basketball:  Racism and Virtuosity at the Roots of the Golden State Warriors Shaping San Francisco’s  Chris Carlsson  digs into the long history of basketball as another season begins. The first African-American players entered the NBA in 1950, while black college stars led the USF Dons to consecutive national championships in 1955 and 1956, inventing a new style of aggressive defensive basketball. Today’s outspoken Warriors embody the decades-long Heritage in which...
Topics: Golden State Warriors, USF Dons, NBA, NCAA, NIT, racism, Jim Crow, Adolph Rupp, John McLendon, Bill...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Are There Marxist Robots?!? Kal Spelletich, robot-maker and long-time artist, professor, actor, and all around raconteur of machinic chaos and dissent combines with Chris Carlsson, a persistent critic of the Planetary Work Society, to confront our collective anxiety. As Nick Dyer-Witheford ably puts it: "Digital capital [is] making a planetary working class tasked with working itself out of job, toiling relentlessly to develop a system of robots and networks, networked robots and robot...
Topics: robots, robot labor, automation, cybernetics, computers, artificial intelligence, labor theory of...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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An interview \with Rene Yañez about his long and important role in bringing Frida Kahlo back to prominence, first in San Francisco and then nationally... 
Topics: Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, art, popular art, SFMOMA, gallery, commercialization, commodification,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Art & Politics: Ilana Crispi — Tenderloin and Mission Dirt Ilana Crispi  is a Mission District ceramicist with a curiosity of what makes up a place. In her recent projects MISSION DIRT and TENDERLOIN DIRT she literally digs in to the earth to extract the soil and transform it, inviting residents to take a look at an invisible past and consider its future. Dirt taken from an excavated Boeddeker Park in 2013 became furniture and vessels to eat out of and created to give Tenderloin...
Topics: Tenderloin, Mission, art, ceramics, pottery, soil, dirt, subterranean, Barcelona, excavation,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Chris Carlsson
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: The Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video is the second of a baker's dozen of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix) turned into short videos. I hope it will whet your appetite for both buying the book (available at...
Topics: racism, underground railroad, Mary Ellen Pleasant, Archy Lee, 1850s, gold rush, slavery, Fugitive...
Shaping San Francisco
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video looks at the role of working women in California campaign for women's suffrage in 1911. It is the 13th of just over a dozen short videos of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix). I hope it will whet your appetite for both...
Topics: suffrage, women, women's right to vote, working women, waitresses, Maud Younger, 1911, progressive...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Celebrating the release of a new map of San Francisco, "Nature in the City" reflects a rich and fairly recent understanding of what comprises a place. An update of an original 2006 map, the rework includes a total of five maps, highlighting species that live alongside Homo sapiens, geology, gardening, restoration, and connections within the Bay-Delta.  Mary Ellen Hannibal  (author of  Citizen Scientist ),  Rebecca Johnso n (Academy of Sciences), and map artist  Jane Kim...
Topics: Maps, cartography, nature, wild, habitat, species, history
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Abby Smith Rumsey, author of When We Are No More,  in conversation with Shaping San Francisco's LisaRuth Elliott, covering topics of memory, technology, archives, history, politics, and more.
Topics: archives, memory, libraries, books, technology, computers, Internet, websites, digital memory, oral...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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From her conservative upbringing in the Midwest, Ruth Mahaney became a stalwart in San Francisco's left and lesbian communities in the last decades of the 20th century. This oral history traces her early days in the New Left and feminist movements to her arrival and coming out in San Francisco, her many years as a teacher and professor, member of the Modern Times Bookstore collective, as well as her memories of the Lesbian community in and around Valencia Street.
Topics: lesbian, anti-war, New Left, Valencia Street, Modern Times Bookstore, feminism
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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As part of the Shaping San Francisco Covid-friendly outdoor programming this Fall, we took a walk around Philosopher's Way, a loop that circumnavigates McLaren Park... many interesting things came up, beautiful views, and a great day.
Topics: McLaren Park, Philosophers' Way, Visitacion Valley, Cow Palace, Sunnydale, Public Housing,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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More of our lives are being tightly integrated through the commercial social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, private corporations that are monetizing the enormous creative and cooperative activity that takes place there. A movement among tech workers and cooperative activists to create real alternatives through building self-managed platform cooperatives is taking shape. Yes, Virginia, there IS an alternative! The micro-rental economy masquerading as "sharing" is...
Topics: platforms, cooperatives, work, co-ops, producer coops, cooperation, ARPA, DARPA, Facebook, Google,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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As protests erupted across the U.S. in the wake of the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, San Francisco also hit the streets. This video captures but a tiny fraction of the enormous outpouring of anger and protest that spilled across the City and the Bay Area more broadly. Here is footage of the June 3 protest organized by high school students at Mission High School, followed by June 5's George Floyd Memorial Ride done in Critical Mass style, and finally on June...
Topics: Black Lives Matter, protest, skateboards, bicycles, racism, anti-racism, police brutality, police...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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The Enola Gay Faggot Affinity Group emerged in 1983 during direct action protests against nuclear weapons at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. About a year later they were the very first group to publicly engage in nonviolent direct action to dramatize the AIDS crisis. The "Money for AIDS, Not for War" ritual/protest was held on September 23, 1984, by Enola Gay, a self proclaimed faggot affinity group, at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 50 miles east of San...
Topics: HIV/AIDS, Direct Action, affinity groups, Lawrence Livermore Lab, anti-nuclear, nuclear weapons,...
Shaping San Francisco
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video looks at Yosemite Slough and Candlestick Point State Recreation Area. It is the 14th of just over a dozen short videos of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix). I hope it will whet your appetite for both buying the book...
Topics: Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, urban parks, urban state parks, creeks, sloughs, Yosemite...
Shaping San Francisco
by Chris Carlsson
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: The Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video, on San Francisco's storied "Freeway Revolt," is the 5th of a baker's dozen of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix) turned into short videos. I hope it will whet your appetite for both buying the book (available at...
Topics: freeway, freeway revolt, Sue Bierman, Embarcadero Freeway, Central Freeway, Malvina Reynolds,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Rethinking 1968: What Happened, How Has It Shaped Us? Rarely has the entire globe seen such a far-reaching revolt as the revolutionary upheavals of the 1968-70 era, whose effects continue to reverberate for better and worse through to our time. Join critical analysts and participants  Judy Gumbo, George Katsiaficas, Mat Callahan , and  Carlos Muñoz  for a provocative historical inquiry.  Co-hosted by PM Press .
Topics: Protest, social movements, feminism, women's movement, Yippies, Black Panthers, Chicano Moratorium,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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We traverse the grounds of the old military base and discover histories of farms, soldiers, abolitionists, and a lost lagoon. From the Fontana Towers to Aquatic Park we discuss urban development, ecology, slavery, World’s Fairs, and militarism. There are some sound issues in a few spots, but mostly it's clearly audible.
Topics: Fort Mason, anti-slavery, Duel, slavery, Indian slavery, Panama-Pacific International Exposition,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Few San Francisco neighborhoods have gone through as dramatic a change as Dogpatch. East of Potrero Hill, once an industrial neighborhood making warships, steel, sugar, rope, and more, where flimsy wooden structures teetered on long-gone hills, the area has had an arts renaissance that is now giving way to high-end condos, the encroaching medical/biotech industry, and even more grandiose plans for highrise development. A microcosm of San Francisco’s history from the 1860s to the present....
Topics: Irish Hill, Potrero, Dutchman's Flat, Dogpatch, Noonan Building, Shipyard Trust for the Arts, Tubbs...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Editor  Jai Sen  of  Movements of Movements  joins  Shaping San Francisco and YOU  for an open discussion. Breaking with our usual format, this entire evening is a discussion open to all participants.  Here are articles  from the two-volume  Movements of Movements  to help shape the discussion.  Co-hosted by PM Press .
Topics: Movements, anti-globalization, anti-capitalism, IMF, World Bank, WTO, horizontalism, anarchism,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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If there were a single event of the 20th century that we could magically undo, would it not be the war of 1914-1918? It led to some 20 million military and civilian deaths, the rise of Nazism, the Russian Revolution, and another even more destructive world war. On the centennial of WWI, the “War to End All Wars,” eminent historian  Adam Hochschild  revisits that pivotal epoch. His 2011 book  To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918  reminds us of the shock provoked...
Topics: war, peace, WWI, World War I, 1914-1918, fraternization, revolution, sedition, press censorship,...
Shaping San Francisco
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Grandview Peak offers incredible views of western San Francisco, the ocean, and Marin County. We navigate southward along the side of Golden Gate Heights to discover wildlife corridors, tiled staircases, and more.With LisaRuth Elliott, co-director of Shaping San Francisco, and Alyssa Pun, Stewardship Coordinator for Nature in the City.
Topics: Grandview Peak, Rocky Outcrop Park, Golden Gate Heights, Quintara Stairs, Sunset, Green Hairstreak...
Shaping San Francisco
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An urban forum "walk 'n talk" starting at Glen Park BART station, and meandering up through Glen Canyon, onto Portola Drive and west to Panoramic off Twin Beaks Blvd to the entry point to the Laguna Honda Trail. Coursing along behind the public hospital, the trail eventually runs westerly along an ivy-filled canyon that is directly above the MUNI Twin Peaks tunnel, leading eventually to a Clarendon Avenue exit. From there we went up and up to enter the Sutro Forest trail system,...
Topics: crosstown trail, Glen Canyon, Sutro Forest, Laguna Honda trail, nature in the city, restoration,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Shaping San Francisco
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Our Walk-n-Talk Urban Forum visited the top of Bayview Hill where we circumnavigated the peak on the old cement road, stopping at both west and east ends for stories explaining the layers of history that shaped the surrounding landscapes. After the loop we made our way down and across the neighborhood to visit Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, where we were surprised by a serendipitous appearance of a Park Ranger who filled us in on some of the fauna out there. Eventually we walked out...
Topics: Bayview Hill, Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, urban state park, ground squirrels, San...
Shaping San Francisco
by Chris Carlsson
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video looks at the long debate over whether there was a fresh water lake in the Mission, confused with the tidal lagoon called Laguna Dolores. It is the 15th and final of just over a dozen short videos of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the...
Topics: Laguna Dolores, fresh water lake, Mission Dolores, Mission district, creeks, aquifers, tidal inlet,...
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A half dozen stairways, open spaces, and incredible views and gardens all across the upper slopes of Eureka Valley and Corbett Heights, above the Castro, and below Twin Peaks. Featuring histories and digressions from Chris Carlsson, occasional contributions from local neighborhood residents Grace Gellerman and Danny Grobani, and a host of friends who came along for the walk.
Topics: Eureka Valley, Corbett Heights, Al's Park, Falcon Street, Nobby Clarke's Folly, Clarke Mansion,...
Shaping San Francisco
by Chris Carlsson
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: The Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video, offering a brief overview of the San Francisco Diggers and their impact on the politics of the 1960s and beyond, is the 11th of a baker's dozen of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix) turned into short videos. I hope it...
Topics: Diggers, free, Panhandle, food, food conspiracy, free stores, food giveaway, life performance,...
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Women, Power, and the Vote:  1911 Suffrage to the 2018 Midterms Given the predictable buzz developing about the 2018 midterm elections and the predictions of a blue wave/a female wave, we want to convene a discussion rooted in history that can critically take on this frame of mind, especially in light of the recent election of London Breed and the likely re-election of Dianne Feinstein. It's not like we haven't had decades of powerful female politicians and leaders who have by and large done...
Topics: voting, elections, political power, grassroots, organizing, housing, race, gender, politicians,...
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Public Art and Murals: Controversy, Neglect, Restoration Not always seen by all as a public benefit, public art faces sometimes quiet neglect, sometimes outrage and controversy. Earlier this year, San Francisco Poet Laureate  Kim Shuck  brought attention to the appeal to remove the Pioneer Monument’s “Early Days” statue of a subjugated and emaciated indigenous figure in Civic Center. Calling for a rehearing, she wrote a poem each day—55 in all—until the Board of Appeals granted one...
Topics: Indigenous California, Ohlone, public art, statues, murals, tagging, vandalism, community,...
Shaping San Francisco
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During the national marches against the NRA and the accelerating madness of mass shootings, San Franciscans turned out in large numbers to join the protest. This is at the corner of 7th and Market as demonstrators walked by for 4 minutes, but the entire length of the march took more than 45 minutes to pass... estimates put the crowd between 35,000 and 80,000... count them here!
Topics: guns, war, violence, mass shootings, protests, demonstrations, NRA, anti-NRA, National Rifle...
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Longtime activist Charlie Hinton describes his arrival in San Francisco in 1971 and his subsequent involvement in Left and Gay politics, including being a member of Bay Area Gay Liberation (BAGL) from its founding in 1975 to its dissolution in 1979. He also covers the role of labor organizing, the Coors boycott, UFW solidarity, and the San Francisco Teachers' Union efforts to establish a gay curriculum. With a strong focus on anti-imperialist political organizing, Hinton describes the...
Topics: BAGL, Gay, Lesbian, LGBTQ, Bay Area Gay Liberation, anti-imperialism, Chilean solidarity,...
Shaping San Francisco
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With the twang of a steel guitar, the whine of a fiddle and the plunk of a banjo comes an instant association; the pick-up truck, the cowboy boots, the rolling hills, dusty fields, lonesome highways and the flag. For many, it has also come to signify conservatism, “traditional values,” American chauvinism, and even racism, bigotry and the confederate flag. Although one wouldn’t realize it from listening to today’s pop Country radio stations, Country music has been anything but a...
Topics: Country music, Country & Western, Folk, Country, rural, coal mining, workers, strikes,...
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A Shaping San Francisco "Urban Forum: Walk & Talk" covering Bernal Heights, from the Bernal Cut and its long transit history to some recent restoration and clean-up efforts and neighborhood history installations to a sequence of earthquake shacks from 1906, inhabited and renovated for life in the 21st century. We walk up and down a lot of staircases, including one built by the WPA in 1940, we see about 10 shacks, and countless amazing views, hidden gardens, and a lot of fragments...
Topics: Walk & Talk, Shaping San Francisco, Bernal Heights, earthquake shacks, Bernal Cut, Southern...
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Rosey Jencks, 12-year veteran of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, specializing in water infrastructure, gives a basic overview of the history and structure of the sewage system and watersheds in San Francisco.
Topics: sewers, watershed, box sewers, landfill, wetlands
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: The Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video is the third of a baker's dozen of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix) turned into short videos. I hope it will whet your appetite for both buying the book (available at...
Topics: Sailors Union of the Pacific, sailors, seamen, shanghaiing, crimps, able-bodied seamen, Andrew...
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video is the first of a "baker's dozen" of "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and another 44 "stops" in an appendix of five walking tours) turned into short videos. I hope it will whet your appetite both for buying the book (get it at...
Topics: Mission, Indigenous, Ohlone, slavery, Indian slavery, Franciscans, Serra, Mission Dolores, Chula...
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Longtime activist Charlie Hinton continues the second part of his oral history, describing his re-engagement with activism in 1992 as part of the public campaign against the 500th anniversary of the landing of Columbus. From there he goes to Haiti and begins a decades-long effort to support the people of Haiti against the depradations of US power. He also connects with prisoners in Pelican Bay State Prison and eventually pens a one-man show about solitary confinement. And much more!
Topics: Columbus, indigenous rights, Haiti, Nicaragua, Chile, prisons, solitary confinement, San Quentin...
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Art & Politics: Miranda Bergman Miranda Bergman , a Mission District resident for many decades and local icon, has been painting public murals since the 1970s when she started as a member of the Haight Ashbury muralists. Her involvement in Central America, Palestine, and women’s politics has shaped her participation in epic works such as Maestrapeace , a Placa mural in Balmy Alley, and many others around the Bay Area and the world.
Topics: murals, community murals, women, children, seniors, San Francisco, Mission DIstrict, Balmy Alley,...
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Shaping San Francisco invites you on a tour of India Basin’s shoreline open space, parks, and historic sites. Not only will you get a close-up tour of this much neglected part of San Francisco, but we’ll be discussing San Francisco’s efforts to plan for sea-level rise even while the overlooked shoreline is suddenly spruced up and made publicly available like never before. After our walk we’ll chat at the west end of India Basin.
Topics: Heron's Head, India Basin, redevelopment, Hunter's Point, shoreline, sealevel rise, Islais Creek,...
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How do we “hold” (record/store) history now compared to the past? How do we “tell” history now, and has the relationship between archival sources and narrative arcs/presentation changed with digitalization? What do we learn from narration-free archival materials (a la Prelinger home movies, foundsf photo pages, etc.)? And popular attitudes towards history: who cares about footnotes? How are archivists beginning to shape new ways of making history public? Film archivist and librarian ...
Topics: archives, memory, hypertext, links, nonlinearity, public libraries, public collections, diversity,...
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The “Language of Water” is a vision to retrofit strategic locations of the Islais Creek Watershed to reduce flood risk and invest in real resiliency from sea level rise, drought, flooding and demonstrating the state of the art practices available to the agency or the cities. This proposal includes plans to create multi-purpose, distributed infrastructure for water supply, wastewater and stormwater treatment and the incorporation of creek daylighting and floodable spaces that make room for...
Topics: sewers, sewerage, composting toilets, Hetch Hetchy, rainwater, graywater, black water, Islais...
Shaping San Francisco
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In February 2020, Pluto Press published Hidden San Francisco: The Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories by Chris Carlsson. This video, offering a short account of the epic Los Siete de la Raza case in 1969-70 and the movement that arose out of it, is the 12th of just over a dozen "stops" (there are 85 "stops" in four themed chapters, and an additional 44 "stops" in five walking tours in the appendix) turned into short videos. I hope it will...
Topics: Los Siete de la Raza, Los Siete, Committee to Defend Los Siete, latino, latina, Mission District,...
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El Polín Spring and the area around it is a great example of how National Park stewardship has brought history to life. Follow the water through MacArthur Meadow, the Tennesee Hollow watershed, to the Crissy Field marshes—including the newly restored Quartermaster Reach. With Lew Stringer, Joel Pomerantz, LisaRuth Elliott, and Chris Carlsson.
Topics: water, restoration, Presidio, Crissy Field, Tennessee Hollow, MacArthur Meadow, Quartermaster...
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Few San Francisco neighborhoods have gone through as dramatic a change as Dogpatch. East of Potrero Hill, once an industrial neighborhood making warships, steel, sugar, rope, and more, where flimsy wooden structures teetered on long-gone hills, the area has had an arts renaissance that is now giving way to high-end condos, the encroaching medical/biotech industry, and even more grandiose plans for highrise development. A microcosm of San Francisco’s history from the 1860s to the present....
Topics: Dogpatch, Irish Hill, Dutchman's Flat, Potrero, Tubbs Cordage, Chinese, railroad, Union Iron Works,...
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More of our lives are being tightly integrated through the commercial social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, private corporations that are monetizing the enormous creative and cooperative activity that takes place there. A movement among tech workers and cooperative activists to create real alternatives through building self-managed platform cooperatives is taking shape. Yes, Virginia, there IS an alternative! The micro-rental economy masquerading as "sharing" is...
Topics: Cooperatives, Platforms, software, applications, technology, DARPA, Internet, freelancers, gig...
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If there were a single event of the 20th century that we could magically undo, would it not be the war of 1914-1918? It led to some 20 million military and civilian deaths, the rise of Nazism, the Russian Revolution, and another even more destructive world war. On the centennial of WWI, the “War to End All Wars,” eminent historian  Adam Hochschild  revisits that pivotal epoch. His 2011 book  To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918  reminds us of the shock provoked...
Topics: World War I, trenches, infantry, cavalry, machine guns, peace, fraternization, truce, revolution,...
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Public Art and Murals: Controversy, Neglect, Restoration Not always seen by all as a public benefit, public art faces sometimes quiet neglect, sometimes outrage and controversy. Earlier this year, San Francisco Poet Laureate  Kim Shuck  brought attention to the appeal to remove the Pioneer Monument’s “Early Days” statue of a subjugated and emaciated indigenous figure in Civic Center. Calling for a rehearing, she wrote a poem each day—55 in all—until the Board of Appeals granted one...
Topics: murals, statues, public art, tagging, vandalism, racism, zionism, poetry, Indigenous San Francisco,...
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New Ways of Making History How do we “hold” (record/store) history now compared to the past? How do we “tell” history now, and has the relationship between archival sources and narrative arcs/presentation changed with digitalization? What do we learn from narration-free archival materials (a la Prelinger home movies, foundsf photo pages, etc.)? And popular attitudes towards history: who cares about footnotes? How are archivists beginning to shape new ways of making history public? Film...
Topics: History, Memory, Historiography, archives, archival, records, libraries, storage, media, abundance,...
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With the twang of a steel guitar, the whine of a fiddle and the plunk of a banjo comes an instant association; the pick-up truck, the cowboy boots, the rolling hills, dusty fields, lonesome highways and the flag. For many, it has also come to signify conservatism, “traditional values,” American chauvinism, and even racism, bigotry and the confederate flag. Although one wouldn’t realize it from listening to today’s pop Country radio stations, Country music has been anything but a...
Topics: Country, folk, coal miners, hobos, transients, Big Rock Candy Mountain, Irish, Scottish, English,...
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Part of the "Imagining Post-Capitalism" festival, cohosted by Shaping San Francisco and the ProArts Gallery in downtown Oakland. Are There Marxist Robots?!? Kal Spelletich , robot-maker and long-time artist, professor, actor, and all around raconteur of machinic chaos and dissent combines with Chris Carlsson , a persistent critic of the Planetary Work Society, to confront our collective anxiety. As Nick Dyer-Witheford ably puts it: "Digital capital [is] making a planetary working...
Topics: robots, androids, robot industry, automobiles, artistic production, cultural dissent
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What are the political and social roots of the housing movement, and how must it evolve to adapt to changing conditions of today’s Bay Area?  In honor of the Council of Community Housing Organizations’ 40th anniversary, join us for a fishbowl discussion with veteran leaders and a younger generation of activists who are leading the fight for housing justice in SF today. In conversation with community organizers & activists: Alexandra Goldman Calvin Welch Chirag Bhakta Emily Lee Marcia...
Topics: Housing, cheap housing, homelessness, affordable housing, nonprofit housing developers, TNDC, MHDC,...
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Rethinking 1968: What Happened, How Has It Shaped Us? Rarely has the entire globe seen such a far-reaching revolt as the revolutionary upheavals of the 1968-70 era, whose effects continue to reverberate for better and worse through to our time. Join critical analysts and participants  Judy Gumbo, George Katsiaficas, Mat Callahan , and  Carlos Muñoz  for a provocative historical inquiry.  Co-hosted by PM Press .
Topics: Revolution, eros effect, Black Panthers, Yippies, music, rock 'n roll, festivals, global revolt,...
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Celebrating the release of a new map of San Francisco, "Nature in the City" reflects a rich and fairly recent understanding of what comprises a place. An update of an original 2006 map, the rework includes a total of five maps, highlighting species that live alongside Homo sapiens, geology, gardening, restoration, and connections within the Bay-Delta.  Mary Ellen Hannibal  (author of  Citizen Scientist ),  Rebecca Johnso n (Academy of Sciences), and map artist  Jane Kim...
Topics: maps, cartography, science, iNaturalist, nature, urban habitat, species, San Francisco, Bay,...
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Women, Power, and the Vote:  1911 Suffrage to the 2018 Midterms Given the predictable buzz developing about the 2018 midterm elections and the predictions of a blue wave/a female wave, we want to convene a discussion rooted in history that can critically take on this frame of mind, especially in light of the recent election of London Breed and the likely re-election of Dianne Feinstein. It's not like we haven't had decades of powerful female politicians and leaders who have by and large done...
Topics: Voting elections, social movements, grassroots politics, organizing, Sheppard-Towner Act of 1921,...
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From the weird madness of the Reber Plan to dam both ends of the Bay into freshwater lakes in the 1950s to the Save the Bay movement of the early 1960s that helped create the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, we’ve come a long way in a half century. Today’s open shorelines, closed trash dumps, and returning wetlands honor and preserve our greatest public resource. Historian  Chuck Wollenberg and   Steve Goldbeck  from BCDC.
Topics: Reber Plan, Bay, Bay Area, San Francisco Bay Area, fresh water, dams, locks, earthen dams, Bay...
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The “Language of Water” is a vision to retrofit strategic locations of the Islais Creek Watershed to reduce flood risk and invest in real resiliency from sea level rise, drought, flooding and demonstrating the state of the art practices available to the agency or the cities. This proposal includes plans to create multi-purpose, distributed infrastructure for water supply, wastewater and stormwater treatment and the incorporation of creek daylighting and floodable spaces that make room for...
Topics: sea level rise, coast, flood, planning, urban design, landscape design, resilience, Islais Creek,...
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Public Knowledge artists-in-residence  Bik Van der Pol  have pulled a New Deal scale model of the City—based on 1938 aerial photographs—out of storage crates and into the light. Inspired by the Halprins’ 1970s collective creativity and community planning efforts, their project, “Take Part” will explore local histories with City neighborhood residents as library branches display relevant sections of the model beginning in early 2019. Creators of a 2017 cultural map of southeast San...
Topics: Maps, cartography, Southeast San Francisco, Public Library, WPA, 1938 map, wooden map, San...
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Hidden San Francisco : Book Release and Birthday! Join Shaping San Francisco’s Chris Carlsson on his 63rd birthday as he presents his new book, Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes, and Radical Histories . After a quarter century of curating the digital archive at foundsf.org , and conducting bike and walking tours, this book captures the unique and serendipitous connections that course through Shaping San Francisco’s ongoing work.
Topics: San Francisco history, Shaping San Francisco, grassroots, nonlinear, hyperlinks, narrative,...
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The Jazz of Modern Basketball:  Racism and Virtuosity at the Roots of the Golden State Warriors Shaping San Francisco’s  Chris Carlsson  digs into the long history of basketball as another season begins. The first African-American players entered the NBA in 1950, while black college stars led the USF Dons to consecutive national championships in 1955 and 1956, inventing a new style of aggressive defensive basketball. Today’s outspoken Warriors embody the decades-long Heritage in which...
Topics: Golden State Warriors, USF Dons, Adolph Rupp, racism, basketball, NBA, NCAA, WNBA, protest, Jim...
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Lou Dematteis  is an extraordinary social documentarian, photographer and filmmaker. He has been taking photographs of the Mission District since the 1970s, capturing the low-rider scene of that era, and being at the first Carnavals and leaving us a stunning visual record. He has also covered the Nicaraguan Revolution into the mid-1980s, the depradations of the multinational oil industry in the Amazon, and more recently has been making movies, with his “The Other Barrio” capturing the...
Topics: Art and Politics, Low riders, Sandinistas, Nicaragua, Italy, Italians, photographer, documentary...
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Miranda Bergman , a Mission District resident for many decades and local icon, has been painting public murals since the 1970s when she started as a member of the Haight Ashbury muralists. Her involvement in Central America, Palestine, and women’s politics has shaped her participation in epic works such as Maestrapeace , a Placa mural in Balmy Alley, and many others around the Bay Area and the world.
Topics: Art, politics, communism, San Francisco, 1960s, murals, public art, community murals, Palestine,...
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Universal Basic Income, Is It time? Touted by the tech industry as a way to preserve livelihoods in a time of automation replacing workers, Universal Basic Income (UBI) is not a new concept. As a poverty alleviation idea, it has resonance in the EPIC program of 1930s California, and similar ideas were floated by leaders of social movements of the 1960s, including MLK, Jr. and the Black Panthers in their Ten Point Program. Through a discussion of UBI we take a look at the nature of work and...
Topics: Universal Basic Income, Negative Income Tax, redistribution, taxes, income, free money, welfare,...
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The Enola Gay Faggot Affinity Group emerged in 1983 during direct action protests against nuclear weapons at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. About a year later they were the very first group to publicly engage in nonviolent direct action to dramatize the AIDS crisis. The "Money for AIDS, Not for War" ritual/protest was held on September 23, 1984, by Enola Gay, a self proclaimed faggot affinity group, at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 50 miles east of San...
Topics: HIV/AIDS, Direct Action, affinity groups, Lawrence Livermore Lab, anti-nuclear, nuclear weapons,...
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Missing Pieces: Remembering Elements of a Gone City Geographer  Dick Walker  looks at the formative politics of the region in his new book,  Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Dark Side of Prosperity in the San Francisco Bay Area , and takes us through the overheated bubbles and spectacular crashes, inequality, and delusion of the current moment.  Arthur O’Donnell  has methodically documented parts of the City slated for demolition or redevelopment from 2010–2018 in his  Bound to...
Topics: Bay Area, destruction, rebuilding, gentrification, construction, new buildings, The Suppository,...
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Ilana Crispi  is a Mission District ceramicist with a curiosity of what makes up a place. In her recent projects MISSION DIRT and TENDERLOIN DIRT she literally digs in to the earth to extract the soil and transform it, inviting residents to take a look at an invisible past and consider its future. Dirt taken from an excavated Boeddeker Park in 2013 became furniture and vessels to eat out of and created to give Tenderloin residents a direct connection to the soil under their feet. MISSION DIRT...
Topics: Tenderloin, Mission, dirt, clay, sand, ceramics, pottery, pinch pots, Barcelona, glaze, art,...