Representing Place

The Garden

Posted in Uncategorized by wrriley on February 17, 2010

This documentary reminded me the brief mention of the controversy surrounding community gardens around Tompkins Square In NYC in the book Place by Cresswell that we read earlier.  The movie The Garden follows the story of the South Central Farmers and a blighted piece of land in south central LA that is transformed into a lush urban garden after the LA riots in 92′. While it never seemed clear to me exactly how the land became an urban garden initially, there is no denying that after many years the community comes to depend on the garden, developing a sense of worth, identity, and community through it.  This is all thrown into turmoil when the farmers find out the landowner intends to demolish the garden and build warehouses and a questionable soccer field.  It becomes a volatile conflict of what defines ownership.  While the usual suspects are at play in the rule of law, money, and political ambitions there is also the question of the community’s perceived sacred investment in working the land.

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