VIDEO: Don’t Mind Me

On a sunny summer afternoon in Dolores Park, a bottle scavenger in a red cardigan picked her way through the partying crowd. She was minding her business, which is picking bottles. She wove in and out of techno dancers and picnickers, barely given notice. When acknowledged, she was identified as one of the others. That […]

With patada!: Exposing the Eviction of Yolanda M. Lopez (2014 collaborative installation)

This post is a documentation of installation work with Yolanda Lopez related to forced eviction. 1. Meeting A Mission Legend 2. The Context of Ellis Act Evictions in La Mission 3. Home/Studio: Eviction Scene Investigation (Lopez & Camarena, 18th Annual Sólo Mujeres, MCCLA, March 12-April 18, 2014) 4. Eviction Garage Sale (Yolanda Lopez & Rio […]

My Mission Blood: Tales From The Block!

My Mission Blood: Tales from the Block! is a collaboration with residents born and bred in the Mission District of San Francisco. Contributors sent an old photo of themselves on Mission streets, with a caption. The photos provide insight into the visual and narrative streetscapes that these residents built block-by-block. With pain, we see their […]

Untweetable Poems (141 character poems)

Untweetable Poems is a poetry series inspired by the oral histories told to Camarena by Mission District residents. These poems cut across all the themes of the Unsettlers project, and provide community stories in a nugget. In 2011, San Francisco approved a six-year tax break for the tech titan Twitter, and in 2012 the company […]

Matres Dolorosas: A Watershed of Tears

A Watershed of Tears: Arroyo de los Dolores (extract 1/5) Ocean fog protected the Bay from European discovery, until 1769, when explorer Gaspar de Portolá viewed the body of water from a mountaintop. Six years later, on August 5, 1775, the ship San Carlos sailed through the golden gate under a moonlit sky. The Huimen […]

May Day: The Nieto Family Story

Refugio Nieto and Elvira Rodriguez (now Elvira Nieto) were born a year apart in the little town of Tarimoro, Guanajuato, known for its agricultural and handmade brick businesses.  Refugio was the eldest child in a family of eight, and Elvira the fourth in a family of nine children.  He was born into a family of […]

Campfire: Eviction Community Stories

On January, 17, 2014, the “village” gathered around a campfire to hark the horrors of no-fault evictions of lifelong Mission residents and other San Franciscans provoked by rampant real estate speculation in the City.  Fourteen brave storytellers shared their horrific experiences. Below is the resulting documentary film series Campfire: Eviction Community Stories, consisting of a […]

Campfire: Michael “Med-o” Whitson

Michael “Med-O” Whitson has lived 32 years in the Bay Area and 30 of those years in his apartment on 1668 Page Street. He and LisaRuth Elliot were flatmates in the Haight, when their building was sold, and after they initially refused to accept a buy-out settlement, the new owners hired the leading landlord law […]