Cadaval, Olivia. “Cadaval on Kofie.” 2002, October 5, 2016.
This piece discusses the economic, structural, and social restrictions predominately black neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. face. With a focus on “Little Beirut” and the town’s struggle to change their identity, this source gives detailed information on the drug trade coming in and out of this town and how leadership was formed among few. The ghettoization of this neighborhood, along with segregation had kick started most of the poverty that followed in this area years later, which has impacted the opportunity and development of the market and members of the community as well.
While this source is simply a review of a larger source at hand, this review gives detailed information about “Little Beirut” and highlights the important parts of the town’s struggle. I can use this source to get a larger perspective of just how deep the ghettoization is and how much the town has evolved. This is a source that is over 10 years old so it serves as a perspective of the town then and gives incentive to investigate how it is viewed now. It also brings questions to table like: Is the drug problem still prominent? Did leadership step up and help evolve the community market? Is it still a dominantly African-American Neighborhood? Is there a sense of community now or is it still considered one of the most violent parts of town?
Kofie, Nelson F. Race, Class, and the Struggle for Neighborhood in Washington, D.C. New York, United States: Garland Publishing, 2016.
In Race, Class, and the Struggle for Neighborhood in Washington, D.C. we are introduced to African American History and Culture, with a focus on areas of poverty in Washington, D.C. and the struggles that have come along with them. Not only are there references to Marion Barry’s arrest, but there’s also direct references to the area known as “Little Beirut” and the issues that are associated with it. In regard to Edgewood, which is known as “Little Beirut” there are explanations as to why the area has evolved into the type of neighborhood it is. Mentioning the drug trade, market, and culture, this source analyzes different areas of the city and the discriminatory aspects that lead areas of town into poverty and keep them there.
This source can be used not only for its insight of other communities surrounding D.C. and the Edgewood area, but it can also be used to understand the deepest roots of how poverty begins in neighborhoods and how it remains. This source will be used to get a larger look at the root internal problem that cities face, rather than just what outsiders can see. Instead of just looking at a city and assuming it is the way it is due to the members of the community, this source gives a different perspective by making it known that the community is trapped and raised into the societal norms that are associated with the city. This source takes observations into a larger matter, expanding one track minded thoughts into larger, wider perspective.
Zak, Dan. “A Boundary Redrawn: Edgewood Mural Is Largest Ever in Washington.” August 23, 2009.
In an article from The Washington Post, Dan Zak describes in detail a piece of lively art in a very grey area of town. Zak uses first-hand accounts from commuters and members of the community to show that the mural is widely admired. Additionally, Zak gives measurements and a description of the wall so readers can fully get an idea for just how large the mural actually is. Equally as important, Zak also mentions that the wall is growing. Murals are starting to pop up more and more around D.C.
Created in 2009, this article provides a simple way to compare how the wall and art around the Edgewood community is evolving. At the time this article was created, new murals were going up. This allows for research and evidence from the field to collide. Finding murals that were freshly painted with political propaganda from 2016’s Election, it is evident that the painting did not stop there. Through this article in comparison with the pictures I took at the Edgewood Wall, a base is produced for just how rapidly the art is evolving and expanding. In addition to the evolution of art, the article also gives a clear meaning to the title, which was originally questionable. Being one of the last things you see as you exit Washington, D.C. on the Red Line Metro, this mural is literally on the Edge of the Rest of the World. This can be used to get a better sense of why this mural is placed where is it, and why it was created.
Visions, DC. From Edgewood to the Edge of the World. Documentary, 2009.
Focusing on the artists behind the Edgewood Mural, this documentary serves as a perfect addition to describing how the artists were chosen and the story behind their work. Although the video is short, the interviews from the artists are full of background. The artists, whom tell stories about their ups and downs in life, reveal that art is not just limited to one age group. Some of the artists were young and some were old. The artists are racially diverse as well. With scenes of different artists painting, it is evident that the community was very encouraged to indulge in this project. Not only is there video footage of the actual murals being painted, but there are additionally accounts from community members whom have witnessed an impact on the change in violence in the area since painting began.
This video source can be used for its information regarding the actual artists. Not only is there an interview of the artists, but there is footage of them painting their pieces. Through hearing their stories of how they began painting the Edgewood Wall, faces are put to the art, making the analysis of the work more personal. By creating a more in depth understanding of the creation of “From Edgewood to the Edge of the World,” this source is crucial to creating a well-rounded observation of its built environment.
Barnard, Anne. “Beirut, Also the Site of Deadly Attacks, Feels Forgotten.” The New York Times, 15 Nov. 2015. NYTimes.com.
Beirut, Lebanon is a violent city located in the middle east. In this source, The New York Times shines light on the lifestyle that citizens of this city are facing. With refugees fleeing the middle east to countries like Lebanon, ISIS followed. ISIS, a widely known terrorist organization that has been concentrated in the middle east. However, as they have grown, their impact has expanded to the west. With corruption and gridlock in the Lebanese government, nothing has been done to combat the violence and poverty in Beirut. Millions of Syrians are in a country of about 4 million citizens. With the influx of refugees, the city has been turned to ruins. The Lebanese government cannot protect and support refugees, but then again neither could their home country Syria.
In Ruben Castaneda’s S Street Rising: Crack, Murder, and Redemption in Washington, D.C., Edgewood is introduced as “Little Beirut” due to the amount of violence this section of Washington has faced. At the height of the crack era, Edgewood was dominant with dealers and crime. Upon initial glance of Castaneda’s analogy, Beirut may be unknown territory. This article gives more background of what Beirut is like, creating a broader understanding of just how violent Edgewood was at a certain time.
Deutsch, Heather, and Michael J. Henderson. EDGEWOOD HISTORY. 15 Nov. 2016.
Originally located outside of Washington, D.C. in Washington County, Maryland, Edgewood has drastically evolved. Edgewood was originally part of a farmland estate called Metropolis view. Purchased by Salmon chase in 1863, Edgewood now serves as a residential neighborhood. With old pictures of Edgewood and background stories of residents, this source summarizes the history of Edgewood.
This source is used for background information for the introduction of Edgewood. It is crucial to understand how a place has evolved over time. From the initial moment of purchase to the current state of the area, history is important. This source will be strongly incorporated in the introduction of the area of Edgewood.
Contrera, Jessica. “Washington Is Fighting Graffiti Artists — but It Loves the Graffiti Aesthetic.” The Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2016. washingtonpost.com.
In this article, Contrera discusses how Washington, D.C. is fighting ‘illegal graffiti’, yet still wants to display a hip and urban district. Stating the former hot spots for graffiti are now under surveillance, the struggle to find a place to display work is difficult. In addition to this, Washington, D.C. is pushing through legislation to increase the fine for illegal graffiti from $250 to $2,500. The Department of Public Works spent $447,000 to remove 6,606 graffiti sights. With professional murals growing in popularity, illegal graffiti’s disapproval is increasing. This article discusses the divide in the worlds of muralists and graffiti artists. Most muralists in Washington, D.C. have never painted illegally, only using spray paint when the trend of murals expanded.
This article gives crucial information regarding the battle of ‘illegal graffiti’ in Washington, D.C. With graffiti rates on the rise, graffiti removal rates have been on the rise as well. Giving different perspectives from artists and officials, this well-rounded article will be used in various sections in the analysis of Edgewood. While it seems as if Washington has become more open to the idea of large murals around the city, officials are only accepting ones that they see fit. Graffiti, while used for various political and social statements, can be viewed as vandalism rather than art. This article helps move the conversation from ‘Edgewood has legal graffiti’ to ‘Edgewood displays legal graffiti because tourists and officials don’t see it’.
MuralsDC – The Official Site for MuralsDC. Accessed 9 Dec. 2016.
MuralsDC’s website displays their murals around Washington, while also describing the history and mission of the initiative. “The D.C. Department of Public Work’s Graffiti Prevention Initiative” states in large letters on the home page, with creative professional murals displayed below. With tabs to read about community impact, the artists, youth development, and videos about their impact, MuralsDC displays themselves as an art-promoting initiative. After further looking through the website, their art-promotion turned into graffiti-shaming. With little-to-zero murals featuring graffiti, MuralsDC only promotes clean-cut urban art. The Edgewood Wall, which happens to be the largest mural in Washington is not featured on the site.
This website will be used as evidence of the district’s shut out of authentic graffiti. Although MuralsDC is partnered with the Edgewood Wall, there is no advertisement of the wall. Nor is there any advertisement of walls with similar aspects of the Edgewood Wall. By incorporating MuralsDC, their claimed motive, and their projected display, the argument that MuralsDC does not truly support graffiti is stronger.
Aratani, Lori. “Graffiti Reports on the Rise in D.C.” Washington Post. Accessed 1 Dec. 2016.
This 2011 article – released 5 years after the MuralsDC initiative took off – discusses the rise in graffiti that Washington, D.C. has been experiencing. In 2011, the district was on the course of spending almost twice as much on the removal of illegal graffiti as they did in 2010. Most of the graffiti resides in Ward 1, which includes 14th and U Street along with Adams Morgan. Additionally, reports of graffiti have been rising in Wards 2 and 6, including most of downtown Washington. The tags appear to be independent rather than gang-related. However, many officials who make the calls of removal, still see graffiti as vandalism rather than art. Although there is a rise in graffiti, officials still believe the MuralsDC imitative is working. The article states that before the program there wasn’t a choice for graffiti artists to create legally, now they have a way.
Through the reports of rising graffiti and statements from citizens and officials of the district, this source will be incorporated to direct the conversation towards something bigger than the removal of ‘vandalism’. Identifying which areas of Washington, D.C. are dominated with graffiti and how the residents feel about it, a conclusion can be made about how certain areas of Washington are viewing graffiti. Instead of art, graffiti is viewed as vandalism. With hopes for the MuralsDC initiative still alive, it seems as if officials are going to be disappointed as the rise of graffiti continues.
Werwath, Timothy. Art Crimes: The Culture and Politics of Graffiti Art. Accessed 8 Dec. 2016.
In this source, Werwath describes the history of graffiti. Noting in the introduction that graffiti has been around since cave-men started drawing on walls of caves, the thoroughness of the artistic history of graffiti in this source is evident. Discussing the social significance of graffiti, along with its motives, this source aims to create an understanding of the artistic culture associated with graffiti. This source is split into four sections describing: the history of modern hip-hop graffiti, the issues of graffiti legality, the subculture of graffiti, and recent trends in graffiti. Each section has valuable information about graffiti, why it is produced, how it is produced, and how it is viewed.
This source will be used to give background information about the intentions and history of graffiti. By incorporating this source in my Built Environment Analysis, depth is given to what graffiti is. Instead of viewing graffiti as a form of vandalism, this source gives a different perspective. Offering alternatives to illegal graffiti, some artists still find art in illegally tagging walls. Through this information, this gives an explanation as to why MuralsDC is on an up-hill battle of removing graffiti.