The Affluent Metropolis

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The Gentrification of the MindThe Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination
by Sarah Schulman
University of California Press. 180 pages, $27.95

 

DURING A VISIT to New York City in 2007, I was taken to a party held in a dim basement apartment off Canal Street. The party was full of veterans of act up, men and women who had fought alongside each other during the worst days of the AIDS epidemic. The host was James Wentzy, a videographer for act up. Taking a moment to explore, I stepped into a side room that seemed to be Wentzy’s office, lined from floor to ceiling with videotapes. Each was a different act up demonstration or zap, and recognizable names jumped from many labels: David Feinberg, Larry Kramer, Vito Russo, David Wojnarowicz. All I could think was, What history lives in this room! But also: Have these tapes been copied onto hard drives or at least DVDs?

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