Community Power is a wheatpasting project that covers an abandoned storefront in Allston—which within the next few years or so is set to be demolished in order to build more luxury apartments. The project is a continuation of my other Community Power project from 2019. However this time I’m focusing more on studying a specific space and neighborhood — this storefront in Allston. Once a co-op supermarket is now an abandonded building plastered with graffiti, ads, and tattered posters, which it’s been for over a decade. Across the street from the building is a recent luxury apartment development that runs rent more than $1,500 a person. I have no doubt in my mind that the replacement for the abandoned building will be something similar. Allston is not a very rich neighborhood — housed by mostly young students, but it’s one of the very few neighborhoods in Boston that still has a shared culture and community. Not the upscale and bourgeois Seaport or South End, but a youth-centered, Brazilian, Korean, and Middle Eastern community that’s currently dying due to the continued growth of housing giants like Harvard University, Boston University, Hamilton Company, and Alpha Management. My goal for the project is to not only create a scene that is pleasing, but something that will incite Allston residents to continue to find ways to grow community power to repel the corporations who are controlling our city.
My process was to plaster the windows with monochrome 12x18 posters, that will connect together in one large piece (which is around 36”x72” for the left windows, and 60”x72” for the right windows). Because I believe the work should have an action, something for the viewer to then do after they see the work, I included information about the current housing crisis in Boston, and what one can do to combat that — specifically by unionizing their fellow tenants through local tenant organizations.
The project was located at 449 Cambridge St, Allston.
︎digital design, wheatpasting, spray painting