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East Hollywood

Personal History: East Hollywood & Echo Park Story

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Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin is an artist and photographer living and working in the city of Los Angeles. One of his series of photo essays is called the L.A.ndscape sessions, which strive to record the remnants of neighborhoods in the process of gentrification before they are completely transformed from what he and other long-time residents know and remember. The images were made with a Contax T2 using 35mm Film

East Hollywood and Echo Park are two of the areas I spent the most time roaming as a kid. Both are also on the frontline of the current wave of gentrification sweeping Los Angeles. From the new businesses to architecture and demographics, the changes are apparent to anyone who has lived in the city for any substantial amount of time. For those of us that actually grew up here though, the recent transformation is downright surreal.

I came up skateboarding and writing graffiti in the mid 90’s, a time when both of these neighborhoods existed in significantly different forms from what can be seen today. It was the height of the Bus era, where the vast majority of graffiti was centered around the bus lines that spread throughout the city. Once you got into the habit of studying and analyzing the terrain in search of spots to bomb or skate, you start to see the urban landscape in a way that most don’t. Over time, it’s easy to see how the small changes build up, turning a place that you once knew like the back of your hand into something foreign and almost unknown.

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The L.A.ndscape sessions are about recording the remnants of what these neighborhoods once were before they completely disappear. Photographs of what little is left of the original neighborhoods before they’re completely torn down and rebuilt in the name of progress.

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You can find more Kwasi at his website: http://www.thelosangelesrecordings.com

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