Sweater #198


Well, sometimes it can be very difficult to find the courage to place a sweater in a specific location.  For sweater #198, this was especially so as I placed it on a small area of trible land that is adjacent to my apartment complex. Every day I travel down this road on my way to work and every day I am absolutely amazed at the stark difference between the area I live in and the area of this landscape.  Homes of all types and materials dot the landscape which contrast sharply to the cookie-cutter construction of the home-owner association haven in which I am submerged.  This area that the Yaqui tribe resides is full of cultural identifiers and resources.  And while both communities struggle with poverty or home ownership conundrums, the Yaqui tribe is at least not inhibited in displaying these issues in the open.  Murals adorn many sides of public and private buildings as seen in one of the images here.  Community members are often seen on the side of the street talking and being a part of a larger cultural fabric rather than sheltered by their own little walled units as can be witnessed in more traditional settings.  Studies have been done on how different social structures interact with each other, and I am afraid to say especially as a white girl, that the white folks in middle to upper class social groups do not interact with each other in the same social manner that other cultural groups do within their communities.  White folks need a reason to get together–something organized, structured, purposeful.  Other cultural groups seem to not have a problem with just hanging out and chewing the fat.  As April 1 is Ceaser Chavez day in honor of his birth and work in equalizing rights among workers, I wanted to place this sweater at a Ceaser Chavez park within the Yaqui community.  When I went to place the sweater, a local gentleman came by and began telling me with very little prompting, the history of this specific spot.  It turned out that this plot of land was the former site of a local bank who for many years took in residents’ savings accounts until one day about 30 years ago when the owner took the bank money and absconded with it.  The community retaliated by tearing down the bank and building this Ceaser Chavez Memorial Park.  Unfortunately, it seems the park has not been in good repair lately and now remains more of an urban artifact.  But, it still stands as a testament of individuals gathering as a group for empowerment as can be seen here in these images.

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Filed under Activism, Found Objects, Subversive

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