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 !