June, 21, 2016 – Geneoricty
Within an hour’s time on a recent Friday afternoon, five people visited the tiny, constructed room nestled in the rear of Asian Arts Initiative to collect socks, water bottles, deodorant and tampons.
The room on the 1200 block of Pearl Street was filled with artifacts of Chinatown past; photographs of old buildings decorated the walls, and a documentary from the 1970s showing residents protesting the construction of the Vine Street Expressway played on loop in the corner.
The toiletries and surrounding items do connect: According to artist Erin Bernard, they both relate to the theme of displacement in the Chinatown neighborhood. It’s why she brought them together for the Philadelphia Public History Truck’s latest exhibit, “A Houseless Museum: Home and Displacement Around the Vine Street Expressway.”