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DIY Artspaces, Gentrification and You By Nia Hampton

On Decemeber 5th, 36 people were killed in a massive fire at the GhostShip, a DIY artspace in Oakland, California. The fire erupted during a party, which the city of Oakland states it did not sign a permit for. The GhostShip was a warehouse utilized by a collective of artists from varying backgrounds. The city claims that they signed off on the space being utilized as a warehouse and not a residency, which it ultimately became. According to CNN and The Nation, there was no running water or sprinkler system in the warehouse but the space was full of furniture and instruments as well as a staircase made out of pallets. The space was shared by over 2 dozen artists who all split the rent. The Ghostship was also subject to various complaints, as the building was deemed to be in “disrepair”. The party that took the lives of 36 people and counting, was ironically one in a series of parties used to raise rent money.

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