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Emergent Harvest

Three violences of attrition committed between 1975 and 1985 caused unemployment and poverty to balloon in New York City along racial lines. The beginning of municipal austerity, the advent of post-Fordist economics, and the dawn of the crack-cocaine epidemic created a fabric of vacant urban spaces that were transformed into economic commodities by property developers. We are living through the third act of this story, in which global pandemic brought into stark relief conditions of inequality exacerbated over the last forty years. The movements for free food and caregiving authored this year constitute an emergent fourth act, in which the landscape re-industrializes around the trope of care. Inside this fourth act of care, we occupy a vacant factory in West Harlem that remains uncolonized by property developers. We structure our network around three types of care, responsive to the violences of 1975-1985. An attack on shared resources becomes intergenerational care; an attack on productive spaces becomes a people’s workshop; an attack on bodies becomes the production of free food. Architectural components travel on tracks through the three wings, evoking the ubiquitous assembly line. They converge around the dining room, where togetherness is performed through breaking bread between friends and strangers.
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