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 […]

Campfire: LisaRuth Elliot

LisaRuth is a community historian, artist, bread baker, urban farmer, writer, editor, everyday bicyclist, activist, and San Francisco resident of 18 years.  Her adult, professional, and creative life has been shaped and inspired by the magic of this city and the communities it has supported, as well as by stints living elsewhere for study, work, […]

Campfire: Benito Santiago

Benito Santiago: Lifelong San Franciscan, disabled elder, musician & public school teacher; Duboce Triangle resident. Benito Santiago is a community elder being Ellis Acted out of his long term SF home. Tony Robles wrote about Benito for the San Francisco Bay Guardian: “Benito is a teacher with the San Francisco Unified School District. He is […]