Old does not mean bad. But you would never know it by the way the world currently works. When new shows its shiny face to us in the guise of bigger and feature-filled homes, gadgets that mesmerize, and items that pamper, we are all supposed to get on board with the new-buying program. But at what cost when the towns of old are losing their offerings of unique personalities in the name of someone else’s profits? How much more of our souls do we have to sell before a master balance sheet shows in all black, and endless cookie-cutter manufacturing can finally stop?
Artist Anne Hars decided to take the conversation into her own hands by using a momento from a much loved story, Up by Pixar, to indicate the older homes that are on a demolition schedule. It seems that homes everywhere serving as sanctuaries for the less fortunate are part of the gentrification agenda that’s killing our history as well as our town’s personalities. Anne wants to push a conversation as to why it’s necessary to remove homes that have been loved for decades, just because they don’t make someone a clear profit. And why is profit the almighty belief when it’s clear that it has a very destructive side? A town and its homes are much more than any number, as shown by numerous inhabitants that help one another in times of need.
We’ve heard stories of towns and cities that used to be affordable for everyone. But that is fast disappearing because the moneyed are taking over these places that were once vibrant and turning them into postcards that status quo can sell to us all in an ad. Because current marketing trends are about making all things pretty for a price that we’re all willing to pay, it’s difficult to be seen above the beauty. So, why not use a symbol of a story that warms our hearts and stirs our souls? What an amazingly beautiful way to be seen when you can’t be heard. It’s a small start, but it can lead to a much bigger and more important conversation if we heed its warning.
Bravo, Anne Hars and the UpHouse Project!! Continue to show us what true beauty looks and feels like. There are too many people who need the help to keep their lives intact. And thanks to the Guardian for pushing an important story to the front! Now NIMBY has a different meaning, and its one full of hope and heart.