Imagining De-Gentrified Futures

curated by Betty Yu

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Working class communities, immigrant communities, and communities of color across U.S. cities have been disproportionately impacted by hyper-gentrification and displacement over the last fifteen years.

Is it possible to disrupt dominant narratives that depict gentrification as "inevitable" and a "natural" part of urban evolution—monolithic assertions that often come from real estate speculators, developers, extractive industries and the 1%? Can we harness our collective resources and trace a new trajectory that allows communities to flourish without being priced out of our neighborhoods?

Imagining De-gentrified Futures is an interactive exhibition attempting to imagine socially-just futures for our cities and aiming to rethink the assumed trajectory of urban development. Drawing inspiration from antigentrification resistance across the U.S., decolonization movements, and Afrofuturism, this exhibition gives permission to imagine, to dream, to unleash and explore ways in which socially-just futures can exist for city communities.

Works on view take a variety of approaches to examine and suggest strategies for the challenges in cities like Hollywood, Philadelphia, New Orleans, New York City's Chinatown and Brooklyn's Sunset Park.
Betty Yu is a multimedia artist, filmmaker, educator, and activist born and raised in NYC to Chinese immigrant parents. Ms. Yu integrates documentary film, new media platforms, and community-infused approaches into her practice, and she is a co-founder Chinatown Art Brigade, a cultural collective using art to advance anti-gentrification organizing. Her work has been presented at the Brooklyn Museum, Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, Tribeca Film Festival's Interactive Showcase, The Eastman Kodak Museum, and the 2019 BRIC Biennial. She holds a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a MFA from Hunter College, and currently teaches video, social practice, art and activism at Pratt Institute, John Jay College, and The New School, in addition to 20 her years of community, media justice, and labor organizing work.