‘Born & Raised’ TV Series : Explores How Logan Square inhabitant Are ‘Exploring And Struggling Against Gentrification’


Following four years of preparation, raising support and shooting, the three-section web series debuts in November. A screening is anticipated Oct. 9.

At the point when Christian Mejía’s folks got comfortable Logan Square in the last part of the ’80s, the area was an inviting landing place.

Mejía’s mom, then, at that point, an undocumented settler from Mexico, chipped in for a neighborhood school and a theater. The family got their birthday cakes at Pierre’s Bakery and shopped at the Discount Megamall and the pet shop Animal Kingdom.

In any case, those organizations, alongside numerous others obliging the Latino people group, have evaporated in the course of recent a very long time as Logan Square improves. Mejía watched his Latino neighbors move away for less expensive rents while the local’s white populace detonated, introducing shops and bars taking into account white twenty to thirty year olds.

With an end goal to “comprehend why [his] neighborhood was vanishing,” Mejía made and coordinated a treasury web series called “Conceived and Raised,” which follows a gathering of anecdotal characters wrestling with improvement in Logan Square.

The three-scene series, recorded in Logan Square, debuts Nov. 10 on Open Television, the finish of four years of preparation, gathering pledges and shooting. A month to month membership to OTV costs $4.99.

Mejía and his accomplice, Jacqueline Lyon, who co-composed the series, held a screening at the Comfort Station recently. A subsequent screening is made arrangements for 3-5 p.m. Oct. 9 at the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. nineteenth St. The individuals who wish to go to should RSVP on Facebook.

“Individuals realize that properties are being sold for such a lot of cash, property estimations are rising, the parks are getting a facelift, perhaps the schools are getting more local charge dollars. I think individuals see those progressions and partner that with the positive, however our inquiry is: At what cost?” Lyon said. “For what reason do these ventures come when certain individuals live in the area? That is a discussion we’re attempting to have with individuals.”

Mejía is a Columbia College Chicago graduate who functions as a gaffer in video form creations in Chicago. He imagined “Conceived and Raised” in 2017 as an approach to “measure a portion of the progressions occurring in the area,” he said.

“I was especially struck by a news story that came out that referenced that 20,000 Latinx occupants had been uprooted in the course of recent years, and [I was] simply having a truly enthusiastically time attempting to understand that number and truly feeling like there should have been a task out there that came according to this point of view, since I wasn’t actually seeing it at that point,” Mejía said.

Mejía’s purposeful venture took off in 2019 when he won a Chicago Filmmakers Grant for $18,000. From that point, he and Lyon, an educator of Chicano/Latino investigations, won more awards and gathered a cast and group. The arrangement was to start recording in spring 2020 — however the pandemic hit. Mejía and Lyon wound up recording a large portion of the series a couple of months after the fact, in pre-fall, with an all-volunteer cast and group.

“Individuals said, ‘Don’t pay me. Set that cash back in the undertaking in light of the fact that my experience was so significant,'” Lyon said.

The completed item is fixated on “various articulations of Latinidad,” Lyon said, with each of the characters coming from various monetary and social foundations.

In one scene, an as of late chosen alderwoman and her drafting lawyer accomplice banter a drafting change looked for an extravagance lodging improvement. In another, two closest companions — one who remained in Logan Square and the another who began another life somewhere else — reconvene and talk concerning what improvement is meaning for their lives.

“One thing I’ve heard from people who have watched it: While this is a series on the improvement of an area, it’s truly substantially more than that. It’s a series about these occupants and how they’re significantly more than the improvement of their areas. They have their own storylines, full lives,” Mejía said.

Lyon said it was imperative to them the series wasn’t driven by sentimentality.

“This isn’t a recuperation project. This isn’t tied in with protecting something lost. This is tied in with seeing genuine individuals and how they’re exploring and battling against improvement,” she said.

For Mejía’s situation, he said his family is among the “fortunate” ones since they had the option to remain nearby; Logan Square Neighborhood Association assisted them with purchasing a house in adjacent Avondale in the last part of the ’90s, Mejía said. Yet, a large number of Latino families have been constrained out of the area lately as lodging costs have soar.

Today, enormous extravagance high rises have assumed control over the destinations where the Megamall and Pierre’s Bakery once stood.

“I went down to Pilsen a day or two ago and felt like I was being encircled by this to a great extent Mexican people group. I felt nostalgic in light of the fact that I felt like I had that at a certain point, yet presently it is no more,” Mejía said. “It’s difficult to discuss the solace you feel when you’re encircled by a local area that seems as though you.”

Lyon has a unique interaction to the film, as well. Her family lived in a condo in Uptown for 10 years, yet they had to move when they could at this point don’t manage the cost of the lease, an indication of improvement. They resettled in Albany Park, a move Lyon depicted as jolting.

“I thought [Albany Park] was a suburb. Uptown had a Downtown vibe: It had enormous structures; it was thick. I moved to Albany Park and I resembled, ‘Hold up. This is an altogether different inclination,’ and it was a culture shock for me,” Lyon said. “Albany Park is an incredible area, yet to need to leave my home and everybody I had known … the shock of that was excruciating.”

With “Conceived and Raised,” Mejía and Lyon said they desire to put a nuanced focus on the effect and the reasons for improvement, which has far reaching influences in networks across Chicago.

“There’s something especially difficult with regards to living some place for such a long time and afterward leaving the spot and afterward getting back to see it sold at some swelled cost and feeling like you never truly got an opportunity to be a piece of that kind of abundance building,” Mejía said.

“Attempting to catch that aggravation and dissatisfaction outwardly on film is really interesting and troublesome. That is the region we needed to investigate in this series.”

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No FLORIDA RECORDER journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

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