Friday, January 11, 2013

The Great Wall of Los Angeles

Tonight I was researching Chicano art for a video I'm working on, and I stumbled upon some links relating to the Great Wall of Los Angeles, which is the longest mural in the world, and depicts the historic civil rights struggles of people in Southern California.  It was a massive project spearheaded by the Chicano artist/teacher/activist Judy Baca.  I've only visited the mural, in person, once.  But, given my recent interest in local history, art, and the history of under-represented peoples, I really want to go back.  In the meantime, here are some pictures I found, to give you a sense of what the project is about.  The Great Wall of Los Angeles is a little-known national treasure, and more people ought to know about it and visit it.

The mural begins by depicting the original inhabitants of Los Angeles, the Tongva people.




It depicts the forced removal of the Latino neighborhood of Chavez Ravine to make way for Dodger Stadium.


It depicts the dustbowl refugees who flocked to California during the Great Depression.


It depicts the struggle for gender equality.


It depicts McCarthyism and the Red Scare in America.


It depicts heroes (and villains) of the Civil Rights movement in America.


It depicts Japanese internment during World War II.


It depicts pachucos and the Zoot Suit Riots of the early 1940s.


If you want to visit the Great Wall of Los Angeles, just google it!


1 comment:

  1. it's been so long since i've had a look at your blog- i'm glad i did. when i was in college, i took a literature of los angeles class and studied a bunch of chicano lit- then i took a senior seminar called "photography and place." our final project was to create a book that combined words & images where we had to document a specific place. i chose to do chicano park in san diego. if you haven't been there, you should go. beautiful murals and also a really interesting history. i hope you keep up with all of the great work you do.

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