Responding to Maria DeLuca’s “Green Streets” Documentary

I saw this great documentary yesterday in the Bronx for the city’s Green Thumb conference. While it seems difficult to access online, a link for the film can be found on the WorldCat (which, I think, can then be sent to Pratt through an inter-library loan).

The film focuses on the impact community gardens have, specifically in an urban environment, on neighborhood (and larger social) relationships. This  (urban gardening, which began in the 1970’s ) emerges as an act of resistance to systematic neglect and community disinvestment. In the contemporary context, I view this as a rejection of mass-privatization and development consuming the city. The space becomes a place to interact with people across difference (rather than a means for mere profit). Of course, these gardens also help us to learn how to grow food, create a sustainable environment, and become more closely involved with the city. I believe this addresses larger political issues on a level so intimate that we can begin to see real change through the ways we relate to each other, ourselves, and the spaces we live in.

De Luca traces the progress made throughout the city in this film, from within the garden. She talks with those laboring to sustain them, young children learning in a group, and passersby. In a system which seems to be constantly deceiving us (as we are lead to believe we live in a democratic society), this kind of micro-focus is truly democratic.



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