Contested spaces: capturing the cultural layers of Koreatown, Los Angeles

This paper will act as a historical pretext to a photo documentary style project I produced showing the multi-cultural environment of Koreatown represented by three layers: 1) a historic, Korean American, ethnic enclave community; 2) a transnational and regional center where investors see an attractive investment space; 3) a multiethnic, local community composed of members from Central America, Mexico, and Bangladesh. I will take a street photography approach emphasizing both static and lyrical styles of photography to document the various overlapping and juxtaposing cultures that reside in Koreatown by walking through several of the major streets including the area’s historic borders, documenting vernacular images – images of everyday and common place life, signs, artifacts, and architecture seen from the point of view of the street and meeting people walking about on any given day.