Sunday 10.14.07 — From Lower East Side to Sydney

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Sunday 10.14.07 — From Lower East Side to Sydney
1. About this Sunday Part 1 (Afternoon)
2. About this Sunday Part 2 (Evening)
3. Some Background for the walk
4. About Sixth Street Community Center
5. About Clayton Patterson
6. More from Keg de Souza
7. Useful Links
8. —- > Support Critical Art Ensemble !!

(photo by: Clayton Patterson)
1. About this Sunday Part 1
What: Walk / Discussion
When: 12:00 in the afternoon
Where: 638 East Sixth Street
Who: Free and Open to all
For part one of this event, we would like to invite people who are interested in discussing and thinking about the rapid changes which are taking place in the city. We are, for this walk, focusing on the East Village / Lower East Side. But all are welcome. We will meet on Sunday at 12:00 in the afternoon, at 638 East Sixth Street (between Avenue B & C), where we will be meeting with Howard from the Sixth Street Community Center.
For those who cannot make it this early. We will be at the southwest corner of Rivington / Ludlow around 1:30. If you miss us, we will try to post a number somewhere visible.

2. About this Sunday Part 2
What: Presentation / Discussion with Keg de Souza
When: 6:00 in the evening
Where: 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
Who: Free and Open to all
An evening with Keg de Souza. Keg is a member of Australian artist group SquatSpace. The group has been operating since 2000 when they set up a gallery in Sydney’s Broadway Squats. Since 2001, the group has operated nomadically, organising events and actions in squatted locations and inner-city streets.
The group’s best-known projects include unReal Estate, a fake real estate office they established in the city of Newcastle in 2002; SquatFest, an annual squatted activist film festival; and the Redfern Waterloo Tour of Beauty, a bus and bicycle tour around the streets of Redfern (a contested city borough of Sydney).
Keg will introduce these projects, and will also be gauging interest in an upcoming Sydney exhibition she is curating on the subject of gentrification and urban renewal.
We hope that through the contrast of these two different contexts we can begin to make connections and differentiate dynamics of gentrification from other contemporary manifestations of neoliberal policies and political imperatives manifesting in urban space.
3. Some Background for the walk
Last year we organized a walk with Not an Alternative and our friends from the Karl Marx School of English and Chto delat from Moscow/Leningrad – Williamsburg after Williamsburg / Moscow after Moscow. The walk and the evening discussion attempted to tie together and place in dialogue two different places, both undergoing rapid change under the moniker of development. This year, when we received a letter from Keg de Souza, an artist based in Sydney, who is involved in several collaborations including the Squat Space collective, we felt it would be interesting to once again, take to the street, visit another neighborhood in the city, which has over the course of a series of waves been transformed radically and connect to another context, which is Sydney Australia.
For Part 1, we would like to invite different individuals who may be interested in or have thoughts to share about the changing urban landscape, land use, uneven development, neo-liberalism in relation to city planning, real estate, property valuations, gentrification, the history of squatting, and the possible economic collapse (and its impacts on nyc communities).
We hope that you can pass this email to people who may be interested and may have something to say about the neighborhood, its conflicting and layered histories.
In addition to Howard from the Sixth Street Community Center, we will be meeting with Clayton Patterson (artist, writer, documentarian). Some of you may remember him from a recent event we organized about the radical social and political history of the Lower East Side. We will rely on those who come to consider other stops and points of interest.
4. About Sixth Street Community Center
For 25 years Sixth Street Community Center has been committed to empowering the Loisaida community and celebrating its extraordinary diversity. We offer programs assisting low and moderate income residents which build a fulfilling sense of community around basic needs for food, health and education. Our current goals are to (1) further the education of our young people in sustainable agriculture, nutrition and health, (2) expand community supported agriculture in our neighborhood by reaching out to more low income households, and (3) strengthen food safety laws through our campaign against genetic engineering.
Sixth Street Community Center is a not-for-profit community based organization. It began in 1978 as a block association organized by single mothers living on East 6th Street between Avenues B and C in the Lower East Side. These neighborhood women decided to organize to transform the meager conditions they were forced to live in: streets lined with abandoned buildings, poverty, crime and despair. They made it their mission to create a better and safer community in which to raise their families. One of their first efforts was to work with the City to seal up abandoned buildings that had become vulnerable to drug trafficking and crime. When the former synagogue at 638 East 6th Street became vacant, the block association had found a home. With the support of Save The Children and other foundations, funds were raised to purchase the building and turn it into a community center.
From its begining Sixth Street Community Center has fostered economic and community development through a variety of programs including aftershool and summer camps, tenants rights and entitlement advocacy, and life skills and career development for teens. More recently, beginning in 1996, the Community Center has initiated projects that bring youth and community residents together around issues of sustainable agriculture, health and nutrition through our Community Supported Agriculture, Seeds To Supper and SOS Food programs. Sixth Street Community Center is a 501(c)(3) organization. All contributions are tax-deductible
5. About Clayton Patterson
Born in 1948, in Calgary, Canada. Studies of art and design at various universities.—Fights against the injustice of state-authorities. Since 1977 exhibitions in USA, Europe and Asia.—In 1994 he organized the first NO!art show in his gallery after 20 NO!years. Took part in the NO!art-box multiple at Edition Hundertmark, 1996, and in the NO!art-show at Janos Gat Gallery in New York in 1998.—Works as Documentary-, Anarcho-, and Tattoo-artist in New York together with his wife Elsa Rensaa and various social groups.—Owns and runs the most voluminous and important NO!art video-archive.—Lives in New York.
6. More from Keg de Souza
Past projects (from the Squat Space Collective) include unReal Estate, a mock-real estate agency advertising empty building stock in mall shopfront in the traditional style and jargon of a real estate agency.
One of our current projects is the, Tour of Beauty, takes place in the inner city Sydney suburbs of Redfern and Waterloo. These suburbs are in the small
area between Sydney city and the airport that have not yet been completely gentrified yet, though are now valuable areas for real estate development.
There are many intricacies within this area speculated for development, not only the large proportion of indigenous and low income residents that have
lived in the area for many years, but the formation of an authority that has right to override heritage legislations, push through commercial
redevelopment plans, sell off local assets through the guise that this section of land is of state significance so it is too important to be
subject to normal planning laws. The Tour investigates the disjuncture that often happens between planning authorities and the local people. On the
tour, ‘tourists’ are transported via minibus or en masses by bicycle to each stop where they are greeted by a ‘local’ who speaks about he place and their
connection to it. The visitors can ask questions and discussion is facilitated before moving on to the next site. The tour visits several
sites including the Aboriginal housing on The Block, the public housing towers, cummnity centres and goverenmetn assests to be sold off. The format
of the tour means that the SquatSpace representatives take on a more passive role, rather than trying to deliver second-hand information, the visitors on
the tour hear the stories straight from the people talking about their own personal struggle. It is art as situated experience.
SquatSpace also runs Squatfest. Squatfest was a reaction SquatSpace had to an increasingly popular short film festival in Sydney, Tropfest. Tropfest
had humble enough beginnings, though now with its corporate sponsorship, film makers with money spend it on production in order for their chance to
win, as an attempt to get a foot in the door to the film industry. Basically it’s exclusive, prohibitive and crap! SquatFest happens annually, the same
night as Tropfest, only occupies and liberates an empty building for the night. After seven years running, SquatFest has a big following, but retains
integrity. It’s dynamic and interesting, film makers bring their own material on the night and we screen it. Simple, but the recipe is genius.
Having the film makers in the audience changes everything. The audience can ask questions, gaining a personal insight into their film.
7. Useful Links
Interview with Clayton Patterson
8. —- > Support Critical Art Ensemble !!
This will be the last week to see Strange Culture. The film about Steve
Kurtz’s case, is running at Cinema Village for 2 weeks only, and its
future distribution to other cities (and hence how many people will learn
about the case) is totally dependent on how well it does in NYC. We
encourage all to see it.
STRANGE CULTURE 2007 – USA – English – 75
Directed by Lynn Hershman Leeson
Featuring Peter Coyote, Thomas Jay Ryan, Tilda Swinton, Cassie Powell,
Wallace Shawn
OCTOBER 5-18, 2007
CINEMA VILLAGE 22 East 12th Street New York, NY 10003 212.924.3363
Showtimes & Tickets
WATCH TRAILER: http://www.strangeculture.net/media/qthi-strangeculture.mov

The surreal legal nightmare of internationally acclaimed artist and
professor Steve Kurtz began when his wife, Hope, died in her sleep of
heart failure. Police arrived, became suspicious of Kurtz’s art, and
called the FBI. Within hours the artist was detained as a suspected
bioterrorist, as dozens of agents in Hazmat suits sifted through his work
and impounded his computers, manuscripts, books, cat, and even his wife’s
body. Today Kurtz and his long-time collaborator Dr. Robert Ferrell,
former Chair of the Genetics Department at the University of Pittsburgh
Graduate School of Public Health, await a trial date.
“Probably the best and certainly the most urgent film in Sundance 2007’s
Frontier section.” –Dennis Lim, INDIEWIRE
“Younger filmmakers should be looking to Hershman Leeson for lessons on
how to reinvent old forms while at the same time telling an urgently
topical story. The director not only breaks the fourth wall, she reduces
it to plaster dust.” –John Anderson, VARIETY
“Why should this case concern us? If the government can just detain
willy-nilly, find no cause and still move forward, it’s a gross abuse of
human rights… STRANGE CULTURE is an important heads-up to what’s going
on in our country right now in the name of national security, and a
brilliant statement on artistic freedom and the dangers it faces. This
film should be seen, should be discussed and is an important document on
our times.” –Mark Bell, FILM THREAT
Some useful links:
The lates about the case:
To donate: