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Final Request
Wendy Kwan
fiber based silver gelatin
edition of 6

Durable plastic materials, tied to the barrier fence, spell out one final message to “Save Social Housing”.

When I made this photograph in early 2010, the site had been cleared, save one remaining building.  As of January 2012, a handful of tenants still reside in this building on a barren wasteland, fully 2 years after the demolition was completed. Planning continues, but contentious issues are not resolved. The province still owns the land while a private developer pursues architectural designs and models and participates in community meetings. A “community liaison” position was created by the developer and filled by a well known Vancouver social housing advocate, who later suddenly vacated the post. It was not re-filled.  A determined local group continues to advocate on behalf of community needs. The current plan includes replacement of the social housing units, development of a new Neighbourhood House, a day care facility, shops, plazas and walkways. The impact of the proposed population density and height of the “towers” on community services, infra structure, and Queen Elizabeth Park remain concerns for city planners.  Zoning issues are far from settled. Completion may be 10 years out.  

Living only two blocks away from the site of all the controversy, I remain hopeful that long term results from all of this upheaval will be positive for our community. The process though has been exhausting for so many.  While forces have battled over the fate of the Little Mountain site, indeed more social and supported housing has been created in Vancouver. As long as the commitment to re-instate social housing on the Little Mountain site is maintained the legacy of the land will survive. We have an opportunity to create a vibrant and integrated community. When and how that is to be done, and whether the forces can work together, remains unknown at this time.

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Series Keywords: Little Mountain Public Housing closure in Vancouver BC, relocated people create art in abandoned public housing project, photographs of abandoned apartment buildings, empty playgrounds, experimental photography, double and multiple exposures, slit-scan images, very to extremely long exposures, modified and unmodified Holga toy camera, pinhole camera, Fotoman 45PS

General Keywords: quiet, calm, peaceful, silent, gentle, placid, secret, serene, tranquil, sublime, evocative, elegant, simplicity, inspire, subtle, haunting, contemplative, exquisite traditional film darkroom black and white photography, print, licensing, license, for sale, order, work on paper, dual toned, selenium, sulphide, sulfide, sepia, archival, Ilford, Kodak