Thursday, August 4, 2011

I Wish This Was...

This is another New Orleans campaign by Candy Chang. She produced these stickers onto which you could write what you wished an abandoned building might be. Many people wrote similar wishes, that the building might be a place to purchase food. This captures a real issue in New Orleans: the lack of grocery stores, especially in low income neighborhoods, and especially in those neighborhoods still recovering from Katrina.

There are three major supermarkets on Magazine St.: Whole Foods, Breaux Mart, Walmart and two on Tchoupitoulis: Winn Dixie and Rouse´s. But if you go to, say, the Marigny, Bywater or Ninth Ward you won´t find any large supermarkets, only small corner stores which have large selections of liquor, beer, candy and chips and may or may not have overpriced bread, short dated milk and wilted produce.

One answer to neighborhood food insecurity is the farmer´s market. New Orleans has Sankofa, Freret St., Crescent City farmers markets in a variety of neighborhoods. The purpose is to increase access to fresh, local produce. Some farmer´s markets even take food stamps. There seem to be efforts to turn the French Market back into a produce market - but the last time I was there, it was still mostly Mardi Gras junk.

Another answer is better zoning. Instead of allowing supermarkets to crowd around Magazine St., the city should force supermarket chains to serve the other neighborhoods as well. Access to quality food is an issue in every American city. It is well documented that poorer neighborhoods do not have the same fresh foods available to them as more affluent areas. The sticker project reflects the desire the neighborhood has for better access to food and a desire to transform blocks of blight into a strong community.

I´ve really enjoyed reading through Chang´s other projects, check them out here.

Related Posts:

Before I Die I Want to....
The Office of Majority Health (In which Glenn Beck has a fit about Doritos)

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