An ongoing global housing crisis exacerbated by the pandemic disproportionately affects the working class and communities of color. City Life | Vida Urbana (CLVU) have been fighting to keep people in their homes for over four decades. CLVU is an intergenerational movement organization based in Boston, Massachusetts building people’s power around racial, social, gender, and economic justice. AgitArte first collaborated with CLVU in 2010 for a popular education project within a foreclosure campaign using agitation and street theater. After a successful campaign, AgitArte led a community art workshop for building hand-made house-shaped painted signs, which have become the most used and widely recognized symbols of the housing struggle locally. They are still used today and are seen in all documentation of their actions.
Our cultural solidarity praxis also gave birth to Count Bankula (a giant puppet poking fun at the “bloodsucking” banks that live off of the working-class), a toy theater play about the evictions and history of the struggle of the organization (which included CLVU activist, Ken Tilton and members of Papel Machete), and our recent podcast episode, “People Over Profit$; The Future of Housing Justice” featuring co-director Mike Leyba and young organizer, Kim Landaverde. The title of our podcast and book, “When We Fight, We Win!” came out of the housing struggle where CLVU has been a leader in the nation, carving the path for housing and city affordability and access rights, developing community leaders in the movement, and building people’s power.