On August 18, friends, acquaintances, and strangers came together for a night of art and conversation. Featured work included spoken word by Bay Area local, Jeremy Michael Vasquez; photo essays from The Local Project by Caroline Horswill, and a multidisciplinary art installation of the 21st Century Immigrant experience by Anabell Castañeda. In addition to exploring the works in each room, attendees, whether they considered themselves local, newcomers, or transplants, reflected on why they stay in the Bay Area.

A Sense of Place

We define and categorize ourselves with our interests and values but we often underestimate how identity is shaped by where we live. Places inhabit us just as much as we inhabit them.

When we think of the Bay Area—an epicenter of innovation, social justice, disruption, art, and free love—what comes to mind? That tangible memory of landscape and place inhabits who we are, and at the same time, we develop a need to care for our physical surroundings. We decorate our homes, create art out of public spaces, and form communities.

We are constantly engaged in a continuing set of exchanges with place; a home is a home because the parameters between who we are and where we are coalesce, bend, shift, and sometimes break.

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Lifelong Bay Area residents and transplants are experiencing and witnessing seismic shifts and breaks of our physical and psychological parameters of place.

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These narratives will keep being exposed across the Bay Area and will shift our knowledge of place. They are part of our collective memory, which is lived, not simply recorded.

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We have a choice with how we engage and interact with the places we inhabit, and with those who experience these transformations in ways that are different from our own experiences.

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Curated by Caroline Horswill