As I walk through a Roma village in Istanbul, I see pink and yellow painted houses that are rusting, with open windows that have clothes hanging down the sides. There is trash everywhere I step. Ahead of me in the distance, I see tall buildings that are multicolored and modern. These are the apartment buildings that are replacing the Roma village. As Roma activist Sadi Cati shows me around, the Roma people living in the little houses look very unhappy while staring at me.
On Thursday, May 16, at the First Congregational Church of Oakland, the youth leaders of Youth Spirit Artworks unveiled what they believe is a solution to the East Bay’s affordability crisis: a 70 square foot Tiny House, featuring a skylight, several windows, two doors, solar-energy heated floors, and two brightly-painted murals along each length of its exterior.
Creating multiple inconveniences was one of many strategies for interfering with James Michaelson’s inconvenient, daily activities. He was opening a can of tomatoes, and my prompt instructed me to speak into the microphone.
“The first time I played here, there was no park here yet,” Stevie Barsotti, the frontman of a band called Dapper Shindig, said to a crowd who had gathered in People’s Park on April 13. “The third time was when we tore down the fence, and that was really fun!”