From the introduction of hipster IPA beer to fences that go sideways (instead of up and down), Oscar Arguello’s Sideways Fences (2017) explores the gentrification of Boyle Heights, a predominately Latino/a community near downtown Los Angeles. Sol, the main character, is pregnant and lives with her boyfriend Estéban, who drinks too much and spends his discretionary time fixing up a ’52 Chevy. Early in the play, Eva, Sol’s sister, crashes with the couple. The play centers around the trio’s stressed relationship and Sol and Estéban’s upcoming eviction, which is related to the creation of new condos. While at first glance the play appears to embrace common stereotypes including the wayward Latina (Eva) and the alcohol prone Latino, a closer analysis illuminates Arguello’s artistic layering of stereotypes to make legible the conditions/structures that produce the situations in which the trio find themselves.
Lateral Journal of the Cultural Studies Association
Welch, Kimberly, "Sideways Fences: Resisting Gentrification in Boyle Heights, a Los Angeles Community" (2017). English Department Faculty Works. 4.
Available at: https://irl.umsl.edu/english-faculty/4