"Our Park" - A Documentary On Nike Miyashita Park

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In the early nineties, Japan's asset price bubble burst, resulting in a seemingly irreconcilable recession. During that time, many Japanese lost their jobs, and subsequently, were expelled from their homes and a tide of suicides made the desolate situation seem even more hopeless. Combining the facts that Japanese government offers little assistance to its unemployed and the high cost of living in the city, many were forced out onto the streets. And, in Tokyo, these people sought a retreat and solace in the Miyashita Park (now known as the Nike Miyashita Park, after the Japanese government sold the public park to Nike under a mum transaction).

As the park became a space for the homeless living in cartons and makeshift tents, providing sanctuary for those with no where else to go, these people started to express themselves through art and music. At the same time, artists and young people became attracted to the park and the Miyashita Park turned into a tightly-knit community for the creative and the outliers. Since Nike purchased the Miyashita park, the public park has been turned commercial and it was reported that Nike plans to expel its inhabitants and turn it into a corporate venture. Today, movements to protect the Miyashita Park and its community has spread throughout the globe, with supporting groups in countries as far as Spain.

Check out the documentary created by Danish director Emil Langballe. via: HB

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