Imminent Displacement

by Zbigniew


“Then as now, there was a recession, a global banking system in shambles, a housing crisis and a shadowy external threat (the Cold War then, terrorism now), all of which are formally similar even if they have very different causes and our governments propose very different solutions. One thing peculiar to the postwar period was the reorganization of urban life in virtually every city in North America. The case of Vancouver, BC, is a local example of a continental condition: the suburbanization of the middle class and the razing of ethnic inner-city slums so that the poor could be warehoused in modernist towers. The 1,200 or so homeless veterans who initially squatted the old Hotel Vancouver are emblematic of the former, and the multi-ethnic residents of Hogan’s Alley whose homes were earmarked for demolition as early as 1947 represent the latter. In the end, the hotel was torn down before the alley, but the fear of imminent displacement is a source of anxiety for all of our characters.”

From Circa 1948, Artist Statement by Stan Douglas