A Video Series Giving a "Voice to the Voiceless" in L.A. A Video Series Giving a "Voice to the Voiceless" in L.A.

A Video Series Giving a "Voice to the Voiceless" in L.A.

by Alissa Walker

March 30, 2011

In the fifth piece in his series, Slovick visited the Free Association of Anarchists, a youth justice group in South L.A. He met them at Chuco's Justice Center, part of Free L.A. High School, a school in the Inglewood neighborhood of L.A. that teaches social uprise and community organizing alongside science and math. "They know everything about the prison industrial complex and the war on drugs," says Slovick of the students. "They're empowered to take control and make change." But not in a violent way, he cautions. "These kids are 16 and 17 and they've read all the books," he says. "This isn't teens ranting, it's self empowerment."

Slovick, who now lives in Topanga, once lived in a loft on Skid Row, where he experienced firsthand the kind of treatment that L.A.'s invisible residents receive. "Skid Row is a scary place until you get out of the car and realize these are just people," he says. "When you approach them, you'll see how they're so disenfranchised."

He finds that his subjects are more than eager to share their experiences with others who might be willing to help. "The access is easy," Slovick says. "I show up with respect and say, 'I want to tell your story.' No one has ever said no."

Slovick hopes his work, as painful or uncomfortable as it can be to watch or read, can act as a go-between to help unify these disparate L.A. populations and spur both audiences into action. "There's a complete solution to homelessness,"says Slovick. "And it starts with awareness."

Watch Sam Slovick's latest Pavement video

Visit Sam Slovick's website

Take a Skid Row Walking Tour

Learn about the Free L.A. High School

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A Video Series Giving a "Voice to the Voiceless" in L.A.