Local residents gather for a game of checkers on the corner between Mount Pleasant and Kenyon streets in D.C.

Local residents gather for a game of checkers on the corner between Mount Pleasant and Kenyon streets in D.C.

For decades, the corner next to the 7-Eleven at Mount Pleasant and Kenyon streets NW in D.C. has been the unofficial town square, a place where residents play checkers and spend time together. Quique Aviles, a Salvadoran artist and community activist, paid tribute to the denizens of this corner, known in Spanish as “los esquineros” — the corner people — in a documentary project called “La Esquina.” In an attempt to memorialize this space and make it accessible to residents, a group of community activists and leaders are pushing for the construction of a park. How do small spaces, such as corners, shape the community of a neighborhood? Can these spaces survive gentrification?

Guests

  • Quique Aviles Poet; Community Activist
  • Arturo Griffiths Executive Director, Trabajadores Unidos; @TU_WDC
  • Patrick Scallen Doctoral Candidate, Georgetown University; Social Historian

Photographs from "La Esquina," an oral history exhibit by Rick Reinhard and Quique Aviles

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