Olympics, materiality and alienation in Downtown Eastside
This paper will be addressing a set of events regarding Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside area, with the problem of gentrification and alienation affecting the area. In 2003, from the moment that Vancouver was announced as the host city, up until the present as of this paper is begin written, the whole event is shrouded in controversy. While Vancouver is trying to perform beautifully in front of their global witnesses, issues such as human rights, censorship, boycotts, security, and various other social problems are all being discussed and reported amongst the media. Using Peter Jackson’s view on materiality, artificiality, and alienation in social life would best fit upon this discussion’s framework. What is at stake as a result of the Olympic Games are many, and I choose to focus on the effects on the gentrification and alienation of the Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents from a few articles of similarly related events.
The series of events of the alienation for the downtown eastside resident happened mainly because of the Olympic Games, this alienation or rather gentrification can be a term used to describe the process happening to the downtown eastside residents. Similar series of alienation to the social life in the city happens at almost every city that held the Olympic Games. Almost every Olympic Game is held under scrutiny, and usually preceded by chains of controversy; the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver correspond to this very pattern. Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside area even pertains to Canada’s “Poorest Postal Code”, while not entirely considered as part of Vancouver’s title “Best Place to Live on Earth’ motto. The Downtown Eastside area is where most of the low income individuals reside, and among them are drug dealers, addicts, and those with mental health issues. As the Olympic clock begins to draw near to its start, city officials and law enforcement are...