Gentrification in East Austin-16 year Old Young Scholar Gabriel Padilla Does a 3 pt Documentary

A couple of months ago Detroit rap artist and activist Invincible touched down in Austin and San Antonio to share her musical talents and weigh in on an issue many in the community had been grappling with-Gentrification. Invincible noted that poor people being displaced from their neighborhood by a more affluent residents was huge deal in Detroit, so much show that she and her partner Finale did a song about it and accompanied it with a mini-documentary called Locust. The video garnered lots of critical acclaim and has been a powerful teaching tool that Invincible often uses when speaking with young people while touring the country.

Gabriel Padilla

Locust was a big hit when she swung through East Austin and talked with local youth over at PODER headquarters. The organization has long been dealing with gentrification, but Invincible being a popular Hip Hop artist with a video help crystalize the issue even more for the young people she met during her widely attended writing and political workshops. She encouraged people to hone in on their artistic skills and use them to bring attention to issues and concerns impacting their lives and the community.  The workshops were incredible as many of the people stepped up and spoke truth to power. One of the people who was inspired was 16 year old Gabriel Padilla who has a keen interest in politics and pretty handy with editing and working the camera. 

Padilla who has been a part of PODER’s Young Scholars for Justice Program  wanted to get this issue wider exposure so he got together with PODER co-director Erika Gonzalez and counselor Peter Mendoza to do an ambitious full length documentary on gentrification in East Austin. In the weeks that followed, Padilla would come by the PODER office, meet with Gonzalez and Mendoza, help draw out a storyline, get feedback and advice and basically grind away to craft what many are now seeing an important piece of work. His film which has been broken down into three parts was shown last month at Space 12. We are now showing it here on The Southern Shift.

We’ve gotten to know young Gabriel over the past few months as we would often see him and other young scholars speaking out at school board meetings and city council hearings.  Padilla reminds us all that the future generation is on point  and can move mountains if given the chance. We salute him for a job well done… Enjoy the documentary.

Gentrification in East Austin pt1

Gentrification in East Austin pt2

Gentrification in East Austin pt3

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