Tuesday, December 6, 2016

IWSG - Ghost Ship Fire - Oakland - R.I.P.

It's the first Wednesday of the month, time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group post! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place where we get together to share our insecurities. To join and/or learn more CLICK HERE!!!!

Inside the warehouse before the fire.

It has been a devastating weekend. An artist collective located in an Oakland warehouse was destroyed during a Golden Donna concert. It was the last 'first Friday celebration' of 2016. 

Every first Friday of the month at the warehouse most popularly known as Ghost Ship, artists got together to showcase their work and make merry. Last Friday the ship caught fire.

Ghost Ship post fire.

Like many of the 'affordable' artist work/lofts in the area, the place wasn't up to code. As a result a confirmed 36 artists and attendees lost their lives.

At first, news reporters were portraying Ghost Ship as a group of irresponsible "ravers" ruining neighborhoods, and endangering our youth. Mainstream media has since changed their tune. They are now mourning the lives of writers, musicians, visual artists, and scholars. 

As a writer soon to be out of grad school, I am devastated, not just for the artists and educators who died and for those who mourn them, but for the artists who are struggling to remain here in the Bay. This needless tragedy was in big part a result of the housing crisis. We are literally loosing our artists!

"Why can't you go live somewhere more affordable?" Residents who work in industries unrelated to the arts have asked me. 

This is where our community is! There are tech employees renting closets in my building. Pretty sure that's not legal either.

I'm insecure that because I'm a freelance writer, novelist, and academic my community doesn't see me as worthy enough to keep around.

What do you think? We've been pushed out San Francisco and into Oakland, now we're getting pushed out of the East Bay. What should we do?