This is Oria’s old home in which her family and her lived in for over 50 years. In this house, we filmed and interviewed her for Right to Wynwood, the documentary Camila Álvarez and I have been working on. On August 2013, they decided to sell the property and leave the neighborhood of Wynwood. What was once a home, is now deserted, bombed, and under the demolition process.
On December 1st, #RighttoWynwood screened inside this vacant, now graffiti-filled living room which indicates the final stages of the gentrification process. Residents, ex-residents (including Oria and her family), artists, Wynwood lovers, sociologists, etc filled the melancholic space, and shared their opinions and sentiments on the rapid changes taking place in Wynwood along with their effects.
This night reassured every single effort made towards the endless creation of this documentary. It reminded us of our purpose, and gave us a feeling no extrinsic award could possibly offer. Awareness sparks conversation; conversation is eventually followed by action. More conversation is what we need, and so we keep going. Thanks to everyone who was a part of this amazing event.
Our project, “Right to Wynwood” explores the causes and effects of gentrification in Wynwood. Through interviews with developers, gallerists, artists, community leaders, and members of the local Puerto Rican population, we seek to tell the story of how Wynwood went from Miami’s oldest Puerto Rican community to its largest art district, and what that means for the future of the neighborhood. We want people to be aware of the peculiar way in which the neighborhood was gentrified—one of them being the use of street art as a marketing tool. It’s a story about Miami in every way possible, from art to culture to economy to community. Our film is a documentation of a unique part of Miami’s history that just so happens to be in process right now. Though people have been calling Wynwood the ‘Soho of Miami’, we’ve discovered that this simply isn’t true, as gentrification in Wynwood occurred in a completely different way, with entirely different motives.
We’ve also discovered that no one actually knows what really happened, have never heard the word gentrification in their lives, and for the most part are blissfully unaware of what has been going on in their own streets. Many people are exploring Wynwood, but no one is asking any of the questions that we are.
Producer: Camila Álvarez
Director of Photography: Natalie Edgar
Both a little sad and proud today after our last shoot for “Right to Wynwood“, the documentary @camialvarez7 and I have been working on / putting our souls into. It’s felt somewhat like an eternity and yet a quick glimpse at the same time. We’re at the final stages of this project that has led us to understand the complexities and the real story behind Wynwood. Can’t wait to share it with you all !
Last week I worked alongside the beautiful Susset Cabrera, President of Peacock Public Relations and editor of “Miami Beats and Sazon”. She was granted the opportunity to participate in the Marshalls Project FAB campaign so we had an amazing photoshoot at the luxurious Mondrian South Beach in Miami. Here are a couple of the photos from our shoot. Check out Susset’s full article on her blog “Miami Beats and Sazon” !
Kendrick Lamar’s star is burning brighter than it has at any point during the 25-year-old rapper’s career. Lamar’s performance was, for lack of a better word, epic. “K-Dot, K-dot, K-dot!!!” the crowd shouted in anticipation before he took the stage. The room exploded when Kendrick came out, the energy overwhelming as fans got their first glimpse of the rapper. K-Dot gave his fans exactly what they wanted, a slew of old school hits from earlier projects with a mix of freestyles and newer songs and, toward the end, a preview of the new album with hits like “The Recipe” and “Swimming Pools (Drank)”. In the process, he showed us all why he’s the total package as an emcee. (Written By: Jayson Stewart @FiveStarAdam)
All Photos by: Natalie Edgar
Photos by Natalie Edgar. March 2, 2012. Miami, FL. On Friday, Imagination Federation, a non-profit organization that works towards the education of children in Chacraseca, Nicaragua hosted their second annual Walk2Nicaragua walkathon. The aim was to collectively walk 1080 miles—the distance between Miami and Chacraseca. While the main location for the event was at the Miami Dade College Kendall, others took the initiative to gather and walk for the cause as well. 25 students from Mast Academy walked the Rickenbacker causeway, 100 citizens of Chacraseca, Nicaragua completed a total of 755 kilometers (469 miles) around the small community, and 12 fellows of the NHLI 2012 Executive Leadership Program held in California gathered in San Juan Bautista and walked 16 miles. Over 400 Participants at Miami Dade College finished 1,080 miles 12 hours after the start of the event. Although the distance goal was not only reached, but also exceeded, their second goal is still in progress. With about a month left of the campaign, Imagination Federation has raised 4,500 dollars out of their 10,000-dollar goal. For more information, or if you would like to support this cause, visit www.fundly.com/walk2nicaragua
January 26, 2012. Miami, Florida. Chino y Nacho, the Latin Grammy award-winning duo worked on the music video for their song “Bebe Bonita” featuring British R&B artist, Jay Sean. This is the second official single in their most recent album “Supremo” that debuted #1 in sales in the United States and Puerto Rico and atop the Billboard Latin Albums Chart. Akon also appeared on the set as their special guest at Passion Night Club in the Hard Rock Casino. Chino y Nacho, both from Venezuela, recently won the 2012 Premio Lo Nuestro Award for “Group or Duo of the Year” on February 16, 2012.
February 14, 2012. Miami, Fl. This Valentine’s Day, Miami’s BankUnited Center introduced Drake‘s opening show of the Club Paradise tour. The tour will run until March throughout college campuses and then will journey on in Europe.
Photos by Natalie Edgar
Shawnee can be described as a modern hippie. She has been living in her tree house paradise located in North Miami. Although she owns a house on the same land where the tree house is located, she chooses to rent it out to college students attending the FIU Biscayne campus instead. “I don’t like to feel confined by concrete walls, I just love my openness and being this close to nature.” She also manages her own business, Shawnee’s Green Thumb Popcorn, a healthy snack she’s been making for years.
Downtown, Miami. December 2, 2011. Photos by: Natalie Edgar. On December 2, 2011 the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Bombay Sapphire hosted an event in downtown, Miami during Art Basel. Russell Simmons, along with his brother Danny Simmons started the foundation in 1995 to shine light on underrepresented artists in the United States. “Art Series” is a search for the next big visual, creative geniuses. With almost 2000 entries from artists throughout the nation, only 2 were selected the night of the event and prized with an exhibition in The Rush Arts Gallery in Manhattan.
In South Beach, neon lights, palm trees and Mojitos. Germans and Swedes, New Yorkers, Britons, Italians, Brazilians and Argentines. People from everywhere. They go to Sushi Samba on Lincoln Road, Mangoes Tropical Café on Ocean Drive, or The Big Pink on Collins Avenue. The bars seem to never close. You can leave club Mansion at 3 a.m., grab a slice of pizza on Washington Ave, and still have time to make it to the after party at Purdy Lounge.
The hip-hop group Black Star performed at the Fillmore on September 27, 2011. Black Star, made up of two commercially known MCs, Mos Def and Talib Kweli released their first and only album Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star in 1998. It is said that the MCs are working on another album together. Despite the fact that the MCs are officially solo artists, the Fillmore was completely crowded by fans of the legendary hip-hop group.
- During the annual Miccosukee Indian Festival there were games and attractions, food, and vendors selling cultural items.