community power!

digital design, wheatpasting, spraypainting

We are not in the midst of a housing crisis. Calling it a housing crisis benefits the people who design housing, who build housing, who profit from housing, not the people who live in it. It encourages us to think in abstractions, in numbers, in interchangeable “units,” and not about people, or about power. We don’t have a housing crisis. We have a tenants’ rights crisis.


Community Power was a wheatpasting project that covered an abandoned storefront in Allston, which was scheduled for demolition in the next few years to make way for more luxury apartments. The project served as a continuation of a 2019 initiative where I pasted multiple buildings on a smaller scale. This time, my focus was on studying a specific space and neighborhood—this storefront in Allston. A decade before, it had been a co-op supermarket, but deteriorated was abandoned, plastered with graffiti, ads, and tattered posters. Across the street from this building stands a recently constructed luxury apartment development with rents exceeding $1,700 per person. I had no doubt that the replacement for the abandoned building would be something similar.

Allston, despite not being a wealthy neighborhood, is home to a vibrant and diverse community, mainly consisting of young students. It’s one of the few neighborhoods in Boston that still retains a shared culture and sense of community, unlike the upscale and bourgeois Seaport or South End. Instead, it was a youth-centered community with a mix of Brazilian, Korean, and Middle Eastern influences. Unfortunately, this unique community is constantly under threat due to the ongoing expansion of housing giants like Harvard University, Boston University, Hamilton Company, and Alpha Management. 

My goal for the project was not only to create visually appealing scenes, but also to inspire Allston residents to continue finding ways to empower their community and resist the control exerted by corporations over our city. 

My process involved plastering the windows with monochrome 12x18 posters, which would connect to form one large piece. The dimensions were approximately 36”x72” for the left windows and 60”x72” for the right windows. Believing that the work should prompt action, I included information about the current housing crisis in Boston and suggestions for combating it—specifically, by encouraging tenants to unionize through local tenant organizations.

The project was located at 449 Cambridge St, Allston.