A Tale of Two Ghettoes: The Future Specters of Chinatown Past strives to connect Chinatown in Old-Town Portland with the developing Jade District in East Portland via social media. At two selected locations, simultaneous real time videos of musical performance, audience and discussion are projected into the spaces in both districts, Jade/APANO Multicultural Space in Jade District, and the Red Robe Tea House & Café in Old-Town Chinatown. The audience in Jade District will be viewing a ghostly performance projected on a translucent scrim, and at the same time, the musicians in Chinatown will be performing to a projected phantom audience. This one-night double event features musical performance of traditional instruments followed by discussion and light refreshments at both sites.
This project is a response to gentrification and displacement in Portland’s Old-Town and Chinatown. Like other cities in the US, Portland is experiencing the current trend of mass migration back to the cities. This movement creates high demand for urban dwellings, pricing out poorer, mostly minority communities, pushing them toward the outer edge of the city. The unique situation of Portland’s Old-Town and Chinatown is a high concentration of social service agencies and homelessness, plus historical landmark requirements as well as other factors, leaving Chinatown and Old-Town in a development vacuum. As Chinese and Asian residents and businesses move out to more affordable locations in East Portland, Chinatown has become a ghost town with few new business and shuttered storefronts, while the newly coined Jade District in East Portland strives to locate its center and identity.
A Tale of Two Ghettoes explores this intriguing territory of inverted doppelgangers and reverse longing; mediates the space between nostalgia for the past and practical realities of the present; and arbitrates the delicate balance of preservation and assimilation.
For more information about this event and APANO’s cultural work, please contact Community Engagement Manager, Luann Algoso at [email protected]
A Tale of Two Ghettoes is presented by APANO’s Arts + Media Collectives “Mic Check!” series, and the Red Robe Teahouse & Café in Old-Town Chinatown. This project is funded by Caldera as a part of “A Day In Paradise”, in connection to the exhibition “Fallen Fruit of Portland” presented by Caldera and Fallen Fruit (David Burns and Austin Young) at Portland Art Museum in October 2015. APANO’s “Mic Check! Voices from the Margins” is funded through a project grant by the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC).