The Politics of Interruption is a video experiment created to explore the different nature that people are interrupted and the ways that people choose interrupt. I ask the questions: Who deserves to be interrupted? Can only a person interrupted us? Can our government interrupt us? Can our living space be interrupted? Whether it be by renewal, removal, or rudeness, the dynamics of the interruption may change but its potential for damage is just the same. In this 5-minute film I seek to entertain with numerous examples of interruption in media and politics and then provoke and educate viewers on gentrification through a serious of short clips highlighting Olneyville, a poor Providence neighborhood that has been receiving an influx of artist and yuppies since 2000. This is the result of city and federal dollars, police efforts, economic downturns that essentially force or removed residents from their neighborhoods for the gain of luxury lofts, artist co-ops, and business that cater to those residents. Baldwin described the process of urban renewal affectionately as Negro Removal- a plot to cause minority residents to flee the city. That clip from Baldwin was particularly relevant to Olneyville, thus I included it in the video as well. In 2006, Karen Shugrue, a real estate agent touring the recent renovated Rising Sun Mills property at 166 Valley St., released this comment to an activist when she did not know she was being taped.
"There isnt a neighborhood here. . . . [T]his is the ghetto, this is a bad neighborhood. . . . You know, weve bought out pretty much everything that we can buy--
so--in two years, five years, well pretty much have made this a really cool neighborhood to live in."
This quote was presented to providence city council and played throughout the city news media when it was released in order to make the case that real estate giant Streuver Bros. Eccles and Rouse (SBE&R) were intentionally gentrifying the Olneyville neighborhood.http://www.allbusiness.com/operations/facilities-commercial-real-estate/4413784-1.html
I also was intrigued by the most recent Kanye West fiasco, and wanted to find a way to based my project on the different context such absurdity may occur. Also, I tried to incorporate elements from Carey Young's most recent instillation Uncertain Contracts. In it, an actor is commissioned to repeat a word or phrase over and over in a blank room until the word becomes either annoying or takes on new meaning. I sought to accomplish both with this project. I use the word " Interruption/Interrupted " as my subject. This applies specifically to the visual on screen, usually with some degree of irony pointing to the community that is being interruppted. My interest in Urban Studies has primarily led me here. This project was also an attempt to take a step back from celebrities and politicians in order to examine ourselves.
To learn more about gentrication in Providence check out this report.