Project 2


        New beginnings are happening in South Phoenix with much approval by some and with much dismay by others. Gentrification changes everything, tearing away the city as we know it, and bringing a new frontier to an old cultural center. South Phoenix is home to many of Hispanic descent with a sprinkle of Caucasians here and African Americans there. Wealthy Phoenicians want to clear out the rift raft and re-introduce a subculture of their own creation consisting of newness, money, and prestige. The folks inhabiting this region of Phoenix have a view of these changes that differ from those invading the territory. Without an excess of money or resources, the citizens of South Phoenix have built a city with culture and rely on “making do with what they already have” instead of greedily seeking more.
        As my team (Janelle and Shiva) and I drove through one particular neighborhood, we saw the contrast between old and new. The location was approximately 12th Street and Broadway in an old neighborhood with bars on most of the doors and windows; yet right across the street was a section of land fenced off in preparation for a new sub-division. As we drove slowly past the old homes many folks were sitting outside enjoying their day, and they looked at us with eyes that possibly said “What are you doing in our neighborhood? Are you one of the many who are coming to change our world, or are you driving by so that later you can rob us.”
        The eyes of our audience looked very concerned and appeared afraid of the motive behind our drive-by. The folks lived a casual and slow-paced existence, and they appeared content with their simple lives. The inhabitants looked at my team as though we were foreigners, and they also seemed threatened that someone not of ‘their kind’ was passing through. A drastic difference in viewpoints was obviously taking place as my team members and I looked into the world of this neighborhood with curiosity, and they gazed in return with fear.


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