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The Intersection of Art and Activism

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What appears to be our first major storm is upon us, heralding the arrival of gloom and traffic that is fall-winter season in Los Angeles. Perhaps it's the lack of sunshine, the mounting sadness of natural disasters at home and abroad, the upcoming City Council elections, or maybe it's just the impending arrival of the holidays, but we've been thinking a lot about local issues and ways to improve life in LA.

Enter Fallen Fruit, a somewhat utopian but nevertheless useful guide to locating edibles nurtured by our famous climate. The group, centered in Silverlake, began as a project for the "Journal of Aesthetics and Protest" aimed at charting existing locations of free fruit and encouraging others to join in the growth effort, both by mapping and growing their own trees and plants.

We believe that fruit planted on private property which overhangs public space should be public property and created this project to encourage people both to harvest and plant public fruit. The project is a response to accelerating urbanization and the loss of people's capacity to produce their own foods, as well as issues around grassroots community activism, social welfare and social responsibility. ...

Over time, we hope to involve more people, especially local activists best equipped to map their own neighborhoods; the life of such a map is quite long, since fruit trees live for decades. While the Internet would seem to be the likeliest venue for such a project, a printed form is essential; the most disenfranchised Angelenos have no access to a computer. Maps must be given to them in person.
Currently, maps are available for Silverlake,
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Echo Park and Mid-Wilshire, but they are always looking for a submission from your neighborhood.