Steffanie Ling and Jannie Leung sit down for a discussion on the insidious nature of art-washing, raising political consciousness in the face of neoliberal capitalism, and strengthening the emerging alliance between cultural workers and community organizers in Vancouver’s Chinatown.
While arts and culture aren’t bad things, governments and developers have increasingly instrumentalized them as a way to stimulate market value in marginalized and working class communities. Under intense pressure by the City to develop, BC Artscape is the latest wolf in sheep’s clothing making an incursion into Chinatown.
Chinatown might soon be the site of yet another high-end condominium development. The Beedie Group wants to build a 13-storey condo tower at 105 Keefer Street, at the intersection of Columbia and Keefer. If approved, community organizers fear that the tower’s 127 market rate units will add to the displacement pressures currently facing Chinatown.
Julia Kwan’s new documentary is contentious not in its lack of sincerity, but in an absence of on-screen controversy.