Pictures of a Gone City

Tech, Displacement, and Resistance in the San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area is currently the jewel in the crown of capitalism—the tech capital of the world and a gusher of wealth. The “Left Coast” has been generating jobs and spawning innovation, so what could be wrong? UC Berkeley professor emeritus of Geography Richard A. Walker and Erin McElroy of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project will discuss the complex dark side of this success as well as resistance struggles in the Bay Area. The talk will move from overheated bubbles and spectacular crashes, exploding inequality and millions of underpaid workers, a boiling housing crisis, mass displacement, severe environmental damage, and a delusional tech elite complicit with the worst in American politics to the lessons from coalitions of resistance, digital counter-mapping, and movement building against gentrification, inequality, and the technocapitalist elite. Will we take our city back with collective solidarity or bury our heads in the algorithms of these neocolonials?

RICHARD A. WALKER is professor emeritus of geography at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught from 1975 to 2012. Walker has written on a diverse range of topics in economic, urban, and environmental geography, with scores of published articles to his credit. He is coauthor of The Capitalist Imperative (1989) and The New Social Economy (1992) and has written extensively on California, including The Conquest of Bread (2004), The Country in the City (2007) and The Atlas of California (2013). Walker is currently director of the Living New Deal Project, whose purpose is to inventory all New Deal public works sites in the United States and recover the lost memory of government investment for the good of all.

ERIN MCELROY is a doctoral candidate in Feminist Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz, and is cofounder of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project – a digital cartography and storytelling collective documenting dispossession and resistance struggles upon gentrifying landscapes. Erin’s dissertation work focuses upon the gentrifying impacts of Silicon Valley technologies and imaginaries in postsocialist Romania. The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project is currently working with PM Press to produce an atlas of Bay Area gentrification struggles and histories, entitled Counterpoints: Bay Area Data and Stories for Resisting Displacement.

Event Timeslots (1)

Room 319
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Tech, Displacement, and Resistance in the San Francisco Bay Area
Richard Walker, Erin McElroy