Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Urban Arcadia - Part 1


Relief Gardens, such as those planted in Detroit during the economic depression of the 1890s and those promoted by the W.P.A. during the Great Depression, provided welcomed sustenance to city dwellers in times of need. Presumably, an allotment for the poor, the urban garden became a liberating space for marginalized people to flourish on marginalized land. Such was the case in the 1990s at the South Central Community Farm in Los Angeles. Designed to act as a kind of relief garden for low-income, mainly immigrant families, the farmers in Los Angeles and in many major American cities successfully brought both new plants and new cultural traditions to the land.

Brooklyn, New York garden, 1930

Brooklyn, New York Garden, 1930

Japanese immigrants with American flag, New York, 1917

Syster Pat tends a Chicago community garden with immigrant children
An oasis in the city - South Central Farm, Los Angeles

Despite protests, South Central Farm was bulldozed in 2006 for development

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