On May 2nd, our HIUS120 class went on a field trip at Chicano Park in Barrio Logan. Professor Luis Alvarez did a quick presentation of the history of this site that highlighted the history of this place and then we got the opportunity to experience it.
As Favianna Rodriguez said during a workshop at UCSD: « culture is power ». Through art, this community manage to take back a meaningful and symbolic place. This culture appropriation is the symbol of their fight but also of their hopes. In the art pieces you can find on the wall, you can find historical reminders but also strong political message. It is not only about the past and their fight to take back this place but also about the present. You can find on the walls feminist messages or a mural painted by high school students who are reclaiming a more egalitarian education system.
Furthermore, these murals are decorating a place where a lot of activities happens. It is not a museum but a place of living where people met. The urban culture they have created is not only symbolized by the murals but also by the skate park and all the different cultural activities that take place in Chicano Park. All of these are a form of appropriation.