Before the Rubble is a UCSB student campaign by Social Print Lab that examines the space El Presidio currently occupies from a decolonial perspective. Following the 1925 earthquake, Santa Barbara was redesigned and rebuilt predominantly in a Spanish colonial architecture style. Today, El Presidio stands where there was once a vibrant Chinatown neighborhood.
Through examination of this historical corridor, this project aims to combat the erasure of Asian American history and reveal the realities of contemporary gentrification. Through research on El Presidio and Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens, a fixture of Chinatown for 60 years, this work aims to provoke people to think deeply about the highly curated aesthetics of spaces tourists visit in Downtown Santa Barbara.
UCSB SPL - Before The Rubble
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