On the land of the Coast Salish People, many call it Hastings Reserve. This is Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In this neighborhood, the marginalized find a home. We live here as artists, healers, tricksters, lovers. This is where family comes to look for their lost ones, the missing. “Take a picture of us hobos!” he calls out. “We won’t be around here long.”
People sleep on the streets or in skid row hotels or shelters, stand in food lines. There is an alternate economy down here, different rules. Share. Earn respect. An elder walks down through the crowd of dealers on the corner and they all step aside. “You’re so beautiful…I love you, Mama”.
If you want to tell the truth, if you want to try for reconciliation, you have to talk about the Downtown Eastside. These people are at the heart of the whole story.
"At the Heart" Exhibition Sept. 19, 2013 UBC Museum of Anthropology (with Corinthia Kelly)