In Los Angeles, where the phrase „Homelessness is just a paycheck away“ is all too well known, the divide between the „haves and have-nots“ is ever-present. While the city is best known for its Hollywood image, it is estimated that 60,000 individuals experience homelessness in LA County on any given night. Among these are also students and working-class individuals, who have to live in their cars because they cannot afford to pay rent.
Worlds of Homelessness is a project of the Goethe-Institut that offers an interdisciplinary engagement with the issue of homelessness and its many related themes such as the gap between rich and poor, participation, inequality, gentrification, racism, and migration. Worlds of Homelessness brings together local and international artists, architects, scholars, and others to create a platform to share ideas, thoughts and to present their work, as well as examining the wide range of strategies being employed to engage with the many questions and challenges surrounding the issue.
The project is developed in cooperation with the Los Angeles Poverty Department, which has created art with and promoted the activism of Skid Row Artists for decades; the Thomas Mann House, the renowned and independent architecture school SCI-Arc, the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin and NAVEL, a collectively driven cultural organization.
The event series including discussions, music performances, and film screenings takes place from October 22 – 27, 2019 in Los Angeles at the Skid Row History Museum and Archive, NAVEL, and SCI-Arc, and culminates with the Los Angeles Poverty Department's 10th Annual Festival for All Skid Row Artists on October 26 – 27, 2019 in Gladys Park, Skid Row.
© Boris Schaarschmidt
Jutta Allmendinger is President of the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) and Professor of Sociology in Education and Labor Market Research at Humboldt Universität Berlin since 2007. In addition, she has served as Honorary Professor of Sociology at Freie Universität Berlin since 2012. Jutta Allmendinger studied sociology and social psychology in Mannheim and Madison, Wisconsin earned her Ph.D. at Harvard University and her habilitation degree at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich. From 1992 to 2007, she was a professor there. Her multiple honors and awards include the German Federal Cross of Merit First Class. Jutta Allmendinger serves on numerous advisory boards in Germany and abroad. She has been a member of the Goethe Institute since 2014. In 2018, she spent four months at Thomas-Mann-Haus in Los Angeles as one of the first Thomas-Mann-Fellows, appointed by the German Federal Foreign Office.
© LAPD / Henriëtte Brouwers
Henriëtte Brouwers is the Associate Director of the Los Angeles Poverty Department since 2000. She co-directs, produces, and performs in many LAPD performances. Born in the Netherlands, Brouwers has performed, directed and taught throughout the Netherlands, France and the US. In Paris, she became a member of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed group (1979-82) and studied corporeal mime with Etiènne Décroux. In the Netherlands, she founded movement theater ACTA and performed with Shusaku & Dormu Dance Theatre, Grif Theater, Nationaal Fonds, and others. In 1993, the Theatre Project in Baltimore presented her work, “A Traveling Song.” In the same year, 7 Stages theatre invited her to perform the solo “Maya in The Decline and Fall of the Rest” by Jim Grimsley and was movement director for “Blue Monk” by Robert Earl Price for the 1996 Olympic Arts Festival in Atlanta. She performed her solo Malinche and La Lengua, the Tongue of Cortès in the US and the Netherlands and directed a series of devised performances based on the Mexican legend of La Llorona: The Weeping Woman. She is featured in artist Bill Viola’s renowned “The Passions” series. Henriëtte Brouwers worked with John Malpede on the creation of RFK in EKY (2004) a community-based re-enactment of Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 trip to investigate poverty in Appalachia.
Cristina Cielo teaches in the Sociology and Gender Studies Department of the Latin American Faculty for Social Sciences in Quito, Ecuador. In her classes and research, she seeks to understand the ways that global economic structures, from histories of development to contemporary commodity flows, are experienced in our daily lives, especially as seen in the ways we organize ourselves with those around us, as well as how we learn to care, or not care, for each other. She has worked on what property and legality mean for marginalized populations in Latin America and the Philippines and is particularly interested in the subjective and political dimensions of economic inequalities. Hopeful that we might work together to shift the structures that shape our lives, she seeks to integrate translocal comparisons and participatory research as a means to bring diverse forms of knowledge and people together. She is currently working on the book "Diverse Commons: Property, Water and Politics in the Urban Andes".
© Fabian Debora
Fabian Debora was born in El Paso, Texas and began his career in 1995 as a member of the East Los Streetscapers. He was mentored by many Chicano artists and muralists and was introduced to creative expressions of all forms, from graffiti and murals to sketching and fine art painting. Fabian’s work has been showcased in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, including Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Brooklyn, and throughout Latin America. Fabian served as a counselor and the Director of Substance Abuses Services & Programming as well as a mentor at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles for a decade. He then moved on to work as Community Connection Director at Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network. He is also a teaching artist for ACTA Alliance of traditional Arts; bringing the arts to adult correctional facilities. He also works in collaboration with Latino Producers Action Network (LPAN) as the Art Director and is an instructor for community artists and students throughout Boyle Heights. He has now become the Executive Director of Somos LA Arte- Homeboy art Academy perusing and developing his vision to continue to serve greater Los Angeles area and abroad.
Thorsten Deckler is a Johannesburg based architect and co-founder (together with Anne Graupner) of 26’10 south Architects. The practice works across architecture, urban design, and knowledge management with the aim to create spaces in which people can thrive. Besides building key infrastructure and housing projects, 26’10 has conducted long-term research on informal urbanism, culminating in the InformalStudio run in partnership with the University of Johannesburg and Goethe-Institut. This material has been shared through popular media and exhibitions held locally and abroad. Thorsten is a popular speaker and has led workshops on urbanism at Washington University (St Louis, 2016) and the AZA Conference (Pretoria 2018). 26’10 has received local and international recognition and has been selected as best emerging practice in South Africa (Backstage Award Venice 2012).
© Radames Eger
Radames Eger - I am a fashion designer based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I was born in Brazil, and for the past 15 years have lived in Europe. Following my career as a ballet dancer, I dedicated myself to the creation of an entirely new world of fashion. My goal has always been to clothe those individuals who need it the most. I create my collection for minority groups like senior citizens, the sick, and the homeless; essentially, anyone who does not fit the fashion world's classic image of beauty. I have declared the commercial fashion world a thing of the past. I conceived my three-week-long EX°ST-Tour through Germany as a vigil and exhibition of my "tent-jacket." I sought to draw attention to the issue of homelessness, and especially in winter, to raise awareness within society so that in the future, no one ever has to die on the street.
© Anne Graupner
Anne Graupner qualified as an architect and urban designer from the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna and is a co-founder of 26’10 south Architects. The practice is based in Johannesburg and works across
architecture, urban design, and knowledge management with the aim to create spaces in which people can thrive. Besides building key infrastructure and housing projects, 26’10 has conducted long-term research on informal urbanism, culminating in the InformalStudio developed in partnership with the University of Johannesburg and Goethe-Institut. Anne curated the traveling exhibition InformalStudio: Marlboro South as a case study combining grass roots and formal development processes. She is the recipient of the Schütte Lihotzky Stipend for the Sans Souci Cinema Project which won the Bauwelt Special Prize (Berlin, 2010). ). 26’10 has received local and international recognition and has been selected as best emerging practice in South Africa (Backstage Award Venice 2012).
© Willi Pleschberger
Alexander Hagner (born 1963 in Germany) absolved a carpentry apprenticeship before studying architecture at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna where he graduated in 1995. In 1999, together with Ulrike Schartner, he founded gaupenraub +/- (https://architektur.se/) as an open office for architecture, design and urban strategies dealing mostly with very specific topics. Since 2002 Hagner works independently on alternative projects for homeless people. These projects include the overnight accommodation "VinziRast" (2004), the group-living shelter "VinziRast-WG" (2010), the "VinziRast-mittendrin" (2013) – a house for homeless and students living and working together.Recently gaupenraub+/- has realized the very low-income housing project "VinziDorf Wien" for homeless people in their last phase of life.
Since 2016 Hagner is the endowed Chair for Social Architecture at the University of Applied Sciences Carinthia. Together with his students, he works on real-life projects by identifying the tools architects could use to improve sociability in an increasing nonhomogeneous society.
© Dareth Gegiorgio
Kerem Halbrecht is an architect and a public space producer. He founded 72 Hour Urban Action that created tens of urban interventions with designers and residents in cities around Europe and the Middle East. Kerem is also an architect and co-founder at The Spaceship, a pioneering independent work-live-share space that has become a center of free expression in Tel Aviv since 2007. Recently he co-founded Just Add People, a group that develops formats for playful spatial reflection. Since 2016, Kerem is conducting research and development for the Goethe-Institut in Rotterdam, Kyoto, Los Angeles and Guadalajara for activation of citizen participation in the design and management of the built environment. Kerem has exhibited and presented around the globe, in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Harvard Graduate School of Design, UC Berkeley, MIT Media Lab, and MoMA PS1, among others.
© Crushow Herring
Crushow Herring, aka Showzart, is a rapper/virtuoso artist born in Kansas City, MO. He attributes his passion for community and for making a difference to his mother, Sherita J. Herring of the Kreative Images Foundation, who had instilled in him the importance of supporting and inspiring others. He credits his father, Gerrie E. Herring, also an artist, for his illustrative abilities. As early as he can remember, Crushow sat next to him, absorbing everything he could from his unique artistic talents. From working from the streets of Skid Row in Downtown LA to sitting in the board rooms of City Hall, Crushow has consistently been instrumental in fighting for equal rights for all, and in creating programs and services that aid not only the disenfranchised, but also create opportunities for all races, religions, and nationalities.
© Michele Lancione
Michele Lancione is an urban ethnographer and activist interested in issues of marginality and diversity, homelessness, and radical politics. His works have been published in top international journals in the field of Urban Geography, Housing Studies and Anthropology. His first edited volume is entitled Rethinking Life at the Margins, while his non-academic works include a collaborative documentary around forced evictions in Bucharest, Romania
. Michele is also one of the founders and editors of the open-source Radical Housing Journal, an Editor of City, and Corresponding Editor for Europe at IJURR. He is based at the Urban Institute and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield, UK.
© Goethe-Institut LA
The LA Playmakers were founded in 2014 by Joseph Warren and Stan Watson. They all were members of the Praise and Worship Team at Skid Row’s Central City Church of the Nazarene. The accomplished professional musicians have played with a number of well-known jazz and pop music figures. They embody the creative spirit that persists in the Skid Row Community. The LA Playmakers will open the event series Worlds of Homelessness and close the Festival for All Skid Row Artists.
Founded in 1985 by director-performer-activist John Malpede and based in Skid Row, Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) is a non-profit arts organization, the first performance group in the nation made up principally of homeless people, and the first arts program of any kind for homeless people in Los Angeles. LAPD creates performances and multidisciplinary artworks that connect the experience of people living in poverty to the social forces that shape their lives and communities. LAPD’s works express the realities, hopes, dreams, and rights of people who live and work in L.A.’s Skid Row. John Malpede and Henriëtte Brouwers are co-recipients of the 2018 City of Santa Monica Visual Artist Fellowship.
© John Malpede
John Malpede directs, performs, and engineers multi-event projects that have theatrical, installation, public art, and education components. In 1985, he founded Los Angeles Poverty Development (LAPD), a performance group comprised primarily of homeless and formerly homeless people who make art, live, and work on Skid Row. He has produced projects working with communities throughout the US, as well as in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Bolivia. His 2004 work RFK in EKY sought to recreate Robert Kennedy’s 1968 “war on poverty” tour in the course of a four-day, 200-mile series of events focused on historic and current issues and social policy. As a 2008-2009 fellow at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Malpede developed Bright Futures in response to the worldwide financial crisis. In 2013, John Malpede received the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. In 2014, the Queens Museum of Art in New York City mounted the first retrospective gallery exhibition on the work of the LAPD, which traveled to the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena in 2016.
© Ron Eshel
Michael Maltzan founded Michael Maltzan Architecture, Inc. in 1995. His projects cross a wide range of typologies, from cultural institutions to city infrastructure. His multi-family residential projects completed over the past decade, including Star Apartments, New Carver Apartments, Crest Apartments, and One Santa Fe, have gained international acclaim for their innovation in both design and construction. These projects have been featured in exhibitions and publications worldwide and are the focus of Michael's most recent book, "Social Transparency: Projects on Housing," published by the Columbia University Press in 2016. Michael received an M.Arch from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, and BFA and B.Arch degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design. Michael is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award, and the 2016 AIA Los Angeles Gold Medal Honoree.
© Charles Porter
Charles Porter is the Prevention Coordinator for United Coalition East Prevention Project, a program of Social Model Recovery Systems. Porter has worked in the prevention field for more than 20 years with an emphasis on community engagement to address a range of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug-related concerns. He incorporates culturally appropriate interventions and has worked with youth, adults, and older adults. He has contributed to numerous prevention and neighborhood improvement initiatives in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles, where his current work is focused. His efforts are also focused on expanding neighborhood wellness and safety by connecting grassroots vision/approaches to needed resources.
© Jonas Reuter
Jonas Reuter - I am a 24-year-old photographer and filmmaker from Germany. Born in a small village near Frankfurt am Main, I moved to the city during my university studies in Motion Pictures, where for the past five years I have lived among bankers and those experiencing homelessness. I love Frankfurt, Techno, and people. It was in a Techno club that I met Radames Eger, and after numerous lengthy conversations, our friendship grew. In 2018, we embarked on an unbelievable journey, which we documented in the Film EX.ST.
© Ananya Roy
Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare and Geography and inaugural Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin. She holds The Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy. Ananya’s research and scholarship has a determined focus on poverty and inequality and seeks to build power for marginalized communities. Her current research is concerned with racial banishment, or the expulsion of working-class communities from cities such as Los Angeles to the far peripheries of urban life. Ananya is the recipient of several awards including the Paul Davidoff Award, which recognizes scholarship that advances social justice, for her 2010 book "Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development". Ananya currently leads a global research network on
Housing Justice in Unequal Cities
funded by the National Science Foundation.
© Barbara Schönig
Barbara Schönig, Prof. Dr.-Ing., studied Urban Planning, German Literature and History of Arts in Berlin and Columbus, Ohio. In her Ph.D., she focused on Metropolitan Planning and Civil Society in the United States. Before becoming a professor for Urban Planning at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in 2012, she taught at Technical University Berlin and Technical University Darmstadt. She is Director of the Institute for European Urban Studies and the Vice Dean of the Department for Architecture and Urbanism at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Her research focuses on critical studies of planning and its role within processes and practices of space production. Fields of research include interdisciplinary housing research, social housing, participation in urban development as well as processes of spatial restructuring of urban, suburban, and rural areas.
© Hilary Silver
Hilary Silver is Chair and Professor of Sociology, International Affairs, and Public Policy at the George Washington University, and Professor Emerita of Urban Studies and Sociology at Brown University where she rose through the ranks since receiving her Ph.D. from Columbia University. She was Editor of the urban sociological journal, City & Community, and a consultant to the World Bank, ILO, United Nations, and other international organizations on issues of social exclusion, poverty, and inequality around the world. She was twice a Fulbright Scholar in Germany and among the first fellows of the Hanse Institute for Advanced Study in Bremen. She has visited at the Humboldt Universität and Freie Universität, and WZB in Germany among many other think tanks and universities and has received support from DAAD. Her film "Direction Home" (2015) follows seven Rhode Islanders experiencing homelessness over seven years until they all have secured housing.
© Licko Turle
Licko Turle was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1960. He is an actor, director, and professor with a master's, doctorate and postdoctoral degrees in Theater. He is a visiting professor in the Graduate Program of the Theater School of the Federal University of Bahia. In 1986, with Augusto Boal, he created the Theater Center of the Oppressed in Brazil; and created in 1999, with Amir Haddad, the Tá Na Rua Institute for Arts, Education, and Citizenship. He is the author of three books on Theater of the Oppressed and four on Street Theater. He has worked in Asia, Europe, Africa, North, Central, and South America and all Brazilian states. He has investigative interest in ethnic-racial areas, street dwellers, Popular Theater, Political Theater, Street Theater, and social movements. He coordinates the events International Conference "Theater of the Oppressed and University"; National Meeting of the Brazilian Street Theater Network, and Black Forum of Performing Arts. His current shows as director and co-director in Bahia are: "Essay for Democracy" and "Black Skin, White Masks." He accompanies the MSTB - Homeless Movement of Bahia, the Articulation of the Old Center of Salvador, the School of Theater in the MST-Perus, São Paulo, SP and the Theater Movement of the Periphery of São Paulo. He currently lives in Salvador, Bahia, where he wants to install the project "Escola de Teatro Negro."
© Velez Villa
Ana believes in conscious and creative design at multiple scales as a method of intervention able to contribute to equality in the building of the city. After graduating from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in 1992, Ana based her architectural practice in Medellin, Colombia. With over two decades of practice, the focus of her work has been the design of collective housing with more than 2000 units built, public space, and public buildings. She has obtained several national awards at the Colombian Biennale. Since 2017, she is a consultant for Comfama, the biggest family compensation Corporation for Antioquia, where she leads several designs for urban and rural housing throughout the 125 towns of the region. Her main strategy is the design of intermediate spaces; these are the spaces that bond the private and public spheres and are capable of hosting the customs of collective and individual daily life, allowing the building of sustainable communities.
© Katherine Wagley
Catherine Wagley is an art critic and journalist based in Los Angeles. She is a contributing editor for the art journal Momus and Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (CARLA). She served as an art critic for the LA Weekly from 2011-2017, and contributes to artnet News, ARTNews, Hyperallergic, the LA Times and The LAnd, among other publications. She is a recent recipient of the Rabkin Prize for art journalism. Her current work often focuses on issues of obscurity: how do we pull stories from the margins of different art worlds without forcing them to fit the mainstream narratives we already know how to tell? Additionally, her reporting in Los Angeles frequently explores the relationships between the art world, gentrification, and urban geography.
© Carlos Zedillo
Carlos Zedillo Velasco, born in 1982 in Mexico City, studied Art and Architecture at Yale University where he completed his Master’s program in 2010. In 2012, he joined the Mexican President’s transition team, developing projects to improve the quality of housing and the reduction of environmental impact. During his time as Head of Research Center for Sustainable Development at the National Housing Fund for Workers (2012 – 2018), he focused on housing and urban development.
In 2017, he founded PienZa Sostenible A.C., a nonprofit association that promotes the analysis, implementation, and coordination on the current situation in Mexico aligned to the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations for Sustainable Development.
In parallel, Zedillo remained academically active: he has been invited to teach courses and give lectures at universities such as Columbia, Yale, and Harvard, as well as at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He is currently giving classes at the Southern California Institute of Architecture