82nd + Beyond: A Living Archive
Location: SE 82nd Avenue, East Portland
Collaborators: Roshani Thakore, Sachi Arakawa (map and tour) Donovan Smith, Sika Stanton, UniVerse (film screening)
For the 2018 Creative Placemaking Project Grant organized by the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Roshani Thakore proposed an Artist Residency in Portland’s Jade District, a Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative area designated by the City of Portland, centered around Southeast 82nd Avenue and Division Street. This area is one of the most diverse census tracts in the State of Oregon, and is home to many recent immigrants. It is also a neighborhood that is vulnerable to displacement due to gentrification.
Since 2014, APANO has supported over twenty artists connected to Southeast 82nd and Southeast Division Street to highlight the needs, hopes, and concerns of community members who are facing a rapidly changing neighborhood. Past works include a film by Joe X. Jiang highlighting the Canton Grill, a 70-plus year old family business that is an icon in the Jade District, posters and zines by Sabina Haque and Madison High youth that address the East/West disparities in Portland, and more. To keep these stories within the social landscape of the community Roshani reinstalled a number of these works within the neighborhood sites. In an effort to create connectivity with these works and stories, Roshani collaborated with a local cartographer, Sachi Arakawa, to create a walking path highlighting these sites called 82nd+Beyond: A Living Archive. For broader accessibility, the map was printed into a physical form, translated into English, Vietnamese, and Chinese, and debuted in the summer at the Jade International Night Market. The maps are free to the public and distributed at neighborhood sites. In September, Sachi and Roshani co-led a public walk activating the map and the neighborhood sites with conversations and local histories told by the artists and community members.
To expand the conversation around displacement and gentrification in greater Portland, Roshani collaborated with local artists Donovan Smith and Sika Stanton to host a film screening of their 2017 film The Numbers. This East Portland debut of the film was presented at Canton Grill, the oldest standing structure in the area along with a community discussion on neighborhood identity. Local artists, community members, city agency representatives, anti-gentrification allies, urban planners and local advocacy organizations attended for food, art, and an honest discussion on neighborhood identity. The event closed with a performance by UniVerse, an artist and musician from East Portland who was featured in the film.
To download a PDF of the walking map, click here.