homeless woman 2
Miyashita Koen is a park located in central Tokyo between Shibuya and Harajuku. Recently there has been a significant amount of controversy surrounding the park, as Nike's plans to buy the public space and build a skateboard park will effectively evict numerous homeless people from their urban encampment.The area has become a kind of open-air art gallery that emphasizes its opposition to the Nike project. There is also an information center and a supply of second-hand t-shirts for anyone in need. I spent some time talking to one homeless woman (pictured in this set); our conversation was very enlightening indeed. She talked about her own experience, the importance the park has as a refuge for local homeless and the support that's come from various artists and travelers around the world. It would certainly seem that Nike has a lot to gain, while this group of people has a lot to lose.