Fiona Bryson has a background in British Cultural Studies and holds an MA from The New School for Social Research, with graduate work completed at Columbia University. She co-edited the "Poetic Series," Sternberg Press (2013-15) and has translated publications on Andrea Fraser (2019; 2021), and a large-scale poem in Michaela Eichwald’s exhibit at the Walker Art Center (2020). Her research interests are in contemporary art, and German and American postwar literature, emphasizing feminism, gender and sexuality.
There Used to Be Vacant Lots by Fiona Bryson
The explosive growth of Skid Row in the late 1970s and 1980s, simultaneous with the dismantling of the welfare state under Reagan, was preceded by the erasure of downtown's Bunker Hill neighborhood. The ensuing commercial redevelopment moved affordable housing away from the city’s center, further increasing the racial and economic segregation already prevalent in L.A.'s DNA. In "There Used to Be Vacant Lots," Fiona Bryson charts the legacy of downtown artists who lived and worked alongside Skid Row's unhoused throughout the 1980s, observing, activating, and creating community within L.A.'s forgotten spaces.