Adriana Camarena is a Mexican from Mexico, complicated by an upbringing in the U.S., Uruguay, and Mexico. She became a resident of the Mission District of San Francisco in 2008. Since arriving in the Mission, Adriana began collecting tales of borders, line-crossings, and overlapping identities told by residents to provide a layered picture of this traditionally working class immigrant neighborhood in California.
"The Naming of Things" is an essay about lost landscapes, translating fantasy video games, tech work and colonialism. (Written in 2011.) Enjoy! (Excerpt) "I have found the place where making romantic sentences full of pathos and bravado has become factory work. On a plain of paved streets in Sunnyvale, past rows of ticky-tack Spanish-tiled roofs, in a cove of office-warehouses, holding herds of cubicles, there is a production line of typing, where heart-pounding humans - kinetically and incessantly - animate keyboards in order to weld words into the dialogues of fantasy video games. [...]"
(Excerpt) "Recently, residents of the Mission have taken an increased interest in the original Creek of Sorrows. [...] Yet, even more invisible is that other river running in a torrential sweep of grief through the Mission, unchecked and unseen. It is a river of tears teased out by poverty, policing, addiction, gun violence, and discrimination. Entire families are drowning in its waters, mothers are cracked and fractured, and youth are harmed, but this raging violence holds no geeky affinity of palatable liberal interest to us, like an actual river. [...]"