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Children in Boyle Heights (1945) (Shades of LA Collection, Los Angeles Public Library)

The predominantly Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights has been the focal point for recent debates concerning art and gentrification, as well as the site of recent raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement under President Trump’s increasingly harsh immigration policies, but the neighborhood’s legacy of displacement goes back much further. The Boyle Heights Museum opens this weekend with Aquí Estamos y No Nos Vamos (“We are here and we won’t leave”), an exhibition focused on the process of Mexican repatriation that took place during the Great Depression. As the result of an official campaign of relocation, as well as widespread public pressure, roughly a third of the Los Angeles population of Mexican-born residents left for Mexico or were removed during this period. The exhibition, which also has an online component, tells this story through period photographs, archival documents, and personal testimonials.

Mexican Men Incarcerated in the Los Angeles County Jail, u.d (Pedro J. Gonzalez Papers, Chicano Studies Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles)

The result of a partnership between Josefina Lopez, Founding Artistic Director of Casa 0101 Theater and Dr. George Sanchez of USC’s Center for Democracy and Diversity, the museum was founded after two years of planning with the intention of preserving the history of Boyle Heights’ immigrant communities. The next exhibition will focus on the 1968 LA Walkouts, a milestone of activism during which Chicano students protested inequality at Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) high schools.
When: Opens Sunday, October 1, 1–3pm
Where: Casa 0101 Theater (2102 East 1st St, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles)

More info here.

Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he is a frequent contributor to Daily Serving, and Glasstire.