POSTCARD: Artichoke Dance Company at "Brooklyn Utopias: Along The Canal"
The culminating event of the Brooklyn Utopias: Along the Canal is an interactive performance tour by Artichoke Dance Company that combines site performances, interactive experiences and a walking tour of the Gowanus neighborhood through the lens of environmental justice.
Taking place on June 25 and 26, 2022, the tour began at the historic site of the Old Stone House and brought audiences to locations in Gowanus significant to the superfund remediation of the canal and rezoning of the neighborhood, highlighting community advocacy and historic gains for community sustainability in relation to the rezoning. At stops along the tour, short performances by Artichoke Dance Company reflected the complexity of the area and issues, and envisioned a sustainable future.
Both the Gowanus Canal and neighborhood have historically faced environmental challenges due to decades of industrial pollution. The Gowanus Canal was named New York City’s first superfund site because of the extreme toxicity in the canal. Remediation is underway and the rapidly changing neighborhood is home to the largest scale rezoning in NYC in 20 years.
Throughout the performance tours, there were discussions of what Combined Sewage Overflow (CSO) is and how it, along with industrial polluters such as manufactured gas plants, have deeply polluted the canal in the Gowanus neighborhood. Approximately 377 million gallons of CSO overflows into the Gowanus watershed each year. The canal remediation will remove over 10 feet of contaminated sediment. Moving forward, there are plans to cover the bottom with a multi-layer cap to help prevent re-contamination of the canal floor.
Artichoke Dance Company’s environmentally themed productions focus on the complexity and interconnectivity of people and place, our relationship to the earth and each other, and the effects of climate change on places and communities, and provide visions of resilience, cooperation and interdependence.
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