reflections on Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination

Learned of this book by Sarah Schulman after watching a video on Frieze about gentrification in London.

Schulman makes some very good points and draws a heartbreaking correlation between the AIDs crisis in New York City, the death of gay artists, and rising rents. Also, how easy it is for current generations to forget or not be aware of the incredible battles fought before them by fellow oppressed populations (women, gays, people of color, the poor etc.) The narrative of oppression is re-written and whitewashed our present day, and Schulman points to the palliative effect this has.

When you read this, pay particular attention to the end chapter, where Schulman states : “Gentrification replaces most people’s experiences with the perceptions of the privileged and calls that reality.” She highlights how disenfranchised groups can get thrown the proverbial bone by the ruling class as a pacifying measure and told to be proud and that society has come so far.