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Inside the Community Murals of the 1980s Lower East Side

In the early 1980s, PBS produced a short documentary about the Lower East Side's thriving street art scene, specifically focused on the many murals organized and spearheaded by various community groups and nonprofits such as CITYArts. The short interviews a number of downtown figures directly involved in the projects, including Philip Pocock (who posted the video), activist Tomie Arai, artists Peter Tirado Vidal, Eva Cockcroft, and Mike Alewitz, and others. The result is a fascinating glimpse at a unique, politically-charged art scene that flourished in the face of what Pocock calls "an urban policy of neglect."

"One of the most important points I feel is that mural painting is an environment art," he goes on to say. "It's site-specific, unlike painting which is commodity-based. Murals are not commercial products, you can't sell them. They're just there for everyone's enjoyment. They're public, as opposed to private."

Clearly, there's a sharp difference between the neighborhood depicted in this video and the one currently infested with drunk, belligerent fratboys.
· You Know... The Struggle [YouTube via Flaming Pablum]