Santa Fe tells a lot of lies about itself. Back in the 1930s it came up with a twisted marketing scheme that covered numerous gorgeous brick buildings of varied western architectural styles in taupe stucco to attract tourists with a “pueblo revival” form that has persisted in horrifying zoning regimes and restrictive historic districts to this very day.
The city markets itself as something that is far different from the old and complex realities of this community. Even as I write this, the city’s tourism department is spending the funds it has allocated to it to advertise traveling to Santa Fe in the midst of a pandemic that is growing exponentially as a dark winter looms. While myriad people are going hungry, becoming homeless, losing their livelihoods, and stability, because no level of government has provided any kind of adequate support to people impacted by government shutdowns, refugees from Silicon Valley and elsewhere are swarming here, driving the median price of housing to an ungodly $500,000.
The cognitive dissonance of this place that I have loved and lived in for 15 years now, inspired me to create a publication of lesser told stories and perspectives that reflect some of the complex aspects of our community. I made this publication in 2014, but many of the topics discussed are just as relevant as they were then, if not more so.
I intentionally distributed this paper as a performance to start conversations about our community. People were so willing to engage, much more willing to be open about deep subjects than they would be if I had any sort of overt political agenda.
I believe in long, slow art projects, and it is likely that you will see a future edition of this paper.