These… are EFFIN ARTISTS man:
On a side street in the gentrifying Mission District in San Francisco, a group of artists formed one of the city’s most compelling galleries by turning an an alley into art. With it they spread the message that newer, brighter, more expensive, is not always better. With it, they fight for the district they called home long before it became the next trendy spot for San Francisco’s uber elite.
In their art they express the lament of the district, home to the city’s robust Latino population and a former “undesirable” neighborhood that has since been forced to accept luxury condos and young techies into its midst.
The murals speak truth to power, saying “just say no to luxury condos” and other things that could shove all the residents that made the neighborhood unique, right out of one of the most expensive cities in America.
Like many, I prefer a degree of gritty in my neighborhood because frankly, its what I can afford, and I like diversity, which is ALWAYS the first casualty of wealth. Sure parts of the Mission are sketchy, and sure as a white guy rolling down Mission you can feel a tad uncomfortable, but like all neighborhoods the task is on me to make it my home, to know people instead of seeing race, and to build relationships on our shared struggled rather than build animosity on our perceived differences. Speak Spanish and you’ll do just fine in gaining acceptance in the wonderful markets in the Mission. Or just give a shit about homeless, poor, imprisoned and marginalized that call the Mission home and you’ll earn acceptance.
Go, if you can can, and see this art and learn from it. But go with respect for those who made the Mission what it is. Because this art patently reflects the hardships of those who live there and may soon not be able to call the Mission home.
Be mindful, be respectful, but most of all pay attention to the message scrawled in the delightful art of the urban Mission District.