chapter  9
20 Pages

Mobilising the ‘Right to Remain’ in Vancouver’s Paueru-gai

An art-based participatory research intervention
WithAaron Franks, Jeff Masuda, Audrey Kobayashi

The Right to Remain Community Fair was an art-based participatory research intervention in support of urban activists against the hyper-gentrification currently sweeping a low-income neighbourhood in Vancouver, Canada. While spaces of dialogue were crucial features of all Fair events, one needs to focus more attention on engineering links across different historical and contemporary constituencies in the Downtown Eastside (DTES)/Paueru-gai to engage the Japanese-Canadian diaspora, a key linking agent between past and present in the ongoing colonization of urban Vancouver. Constant themes of the recovery of the DTES story are continuous community and the dialectical relationships between historical presence and absence, and public visibility and invisibility. In the DTES, superdiversity is a product of the struggle for in/visibility by peoples of vastly different 'tenures' of inhabitation in the same urban space. In some critical academic and radical political circles, human rights discourse is dismissed as ineffective in revealing the capitalist, colonial relations that formed the DTES.