What & Why
What is Gentrifried chicken?
GentriFried Chicken is a multidisciplinary art, education and entertainment project. We take old familiar games and remix them into vehicles for the transmission of vital historical, cultural, and geographic knowledge.
A'Darius Bell & Eli marienthal
At this point, Eli and A'Darius have been chopping history and talking shit for more than 17 years.
They started creating together as Youth Speaks poets at Berkeley High, and in the years since they've done theater, designed clothing, made music, toured, and lived back east and come home.
GentriFried Chicken started a few years ago as a joke:
A'Darius: Yo E, I want to open a chicken shop in West Oakland and charge white people double. It's going to be called GentriFried Chicken. GFC.
It stuck. And for a while that's what we tried to do.
Over time though, thinking with and past the racial binary led us to consider other kinds of assessment.
What about games that tested people's cultural awareness, historical memory and geographical literacy?
What about games that put the shine on and explicitly valued the connection to and and rootedness in that make [fill in the city] and its locals what they are?
It almost goes without saying, so much feels under existential threat these days.
In response, we play games. Not because this shit is a game; it’s real.
But because the gravity of the situation calls for all manner of creative, humorous and humanist answers.
I know, I know: where's the chicken? Well... for now at least... it's in your mind.
Think of us as a purveyor of food for thought. Our games give you something to chew on, a new way of thinking about what you know, and appreciating what other people know too.
Play on player.
We employ a participatory research method to build archives of history and geography questions representing the collective memory of the city. The archive asks people to identify the knowledge that offers them a sense of belonging, a feeling of home. “What do you know about this city,” we ask residents, “that counters the tendency to perceive it as a blank slate.” “What should everyone know in order to understand where they are and what they’ve stepped into?” “What would any old timer know that a newcomer couldn’t possibly?”
We play games as a creative, humorous, and humanist response to the very serious challenges facing so many American cities.
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September 16th 2017 @ TransformFest - Yerba Buena Center for the Arts // San Francisco, CA.
October 14th 2017 @ Life is Living - Defremery Park // Oakland, CA .