Each of the photos are from the Mission District in San Francisco. Murals first appeared in the mid-1980s as an expression of outrage over human rights and political abuse in central America. Today, themes have expanded to include human rights violations, gentrification and Hurricane Katrina.
The Mission District in San Francisco is rich in history as many Central and South American refugees fled there in the late ’80s due to the political unrest around the world. The neighborhood has been predominantly Latino, with most local businesses being owned by the residents and generations of people raising their families there.
While there has been a lot of success for the community here, there has also been a persisting gang problem that came from gang affiliations back in Central and South America. The neighborhood is famous for its murals, where most depict social justice causes of Latino experience, but more modern ones are reflective of the extreme gentrification happening in The Mission as a whole.
I moved there in 2009 from downtown San Francisco, which had been my home since 2003. While I was slightly aware of the gentrification that was beginning at the time, I didn’t realize how quickly The Mission would begin to change drastically everyday. When I first got there most of my building was Spanish speaking with a few middle aged white neighbors who had been there for more than 10 years.
Some of these murals are still there, some are not. I moved across the bay to Oakland in 2014, largely due to the changing demographics around me. It was important to capture these murals before I left, just in case they weren’t there forever. Since I began doing this in 2009, I’ve made a habit to capture any street art that grabs my eye. After a few years its proved to be a great habit because the nature of street art is fluid and ever-changing, and I have this great collection of beautiful moments where artists have shared their talents with the neighborhood publicly.
Green travel is all about discovering the culture of a destination. We hope you get to see the iconic street art before it disappears.
To buy Morgan Shidler’s fantastic photos, log on to her website.