"Gentrification is Colonization:" A Production of the NELA Alliance
About the PlayCarolina Cardoza, Emma Cones, Toby Ellentuck, Keegan McChesney, Chance Ward
“Gentrification is Colonization” is a play written and performed by Karen Anzoategui and members of the Northeast Los Angeles Alliance (NELAA). NELAA, a group of local Northeast LA residents, are committed to documenting the changing socio-economic landscape of NELA. The group is committed to understanding the full effect of gentrification on immigrant, working class and poor communities and addressing these effects through education, organizing, visual and performing arts and ongoing scholarship. Recognizing that many of the narratives around gentrification are not by the immigrant, working class and poor communities it profoundly affects, NELAA provides the counter-narratives to the prevailing narratives of gentrification.
“Gentrification is Colonization” was performed at Occidental College in Lower Herrick on April 8th, 2016 to an audience of nearly 100 people, about half of which were Highland Park community members and the other half Occidental students, faculty and staff. The play highlights the parallels between the colonization of the Americas led by Columbus and the gentrification of Highland Park (most often) led by (more) affluent white people. The performance provided an emotional foundation for honest, fruitful discussion between attendees which lasted over two hours after the play. “Gentrification is Colonization” is both therapeutic for the performers and informative for the audience. This was the second time Nela Alliance performed the play and they hope to continue performing, improving the play and engaging more people in the future.
Music by El Rio, with NELAA member Meli Ochoa and Bryan Diaz.
Cast (In order of Appearance):
- Northeast LA community member 1: Nancy Aragon
- Northeast LA community member 2: Star Orozco
- Christopher Columbus: Ezak Pérez
- Jules: Emmanuel Nuñez
- Honeycomb: Liza Beltran
- Diana: Karen Anzoategui
- Doña Marta: Miguel Ramos