Preserving A Home For Veterans
Preserving A Home For Veterans is an adaptation of the Metabolic Studio’s January 2011 position paper on the Department of Veterans Affairs use of its largest land asset—the West Los Angeles campus. In 1888 this land was donated to the federal government with the promise that it would be used as a permanent home for veterans. Through meticulous research and persuasive legal arguments, Preserving A Home For Veterans details the VA’s current practice of leasing parts of the property to private entities (e.g. Enterprise cars, a private school, oil drillers), in violation of the 1888 deed and in spite of the more than 20,000 homeless veterans living in Los Angeles County.
Part legal document, historical report, socially engaged artist statement, and activist call-to-action, Preserving A Home For Veterans is one of the many works that grew out of Strawberry Flag (Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio, 2009-2010), an experimental aquaponic strawberry farm deployed amid three under-purposed buildings on the north side of the VA of West LA. For more than a year, a team of artists and veterans worked together to begin shifting the stasis that permeates this important historic property.
After investigating the abandoned buildings on the property and learning of the Deed of 1888, the veterans and artists, working with the Metabolic Studio’s legal counsel, penned the position paper, which was later used by the ACLU and other lawyers in a lawsuit against the VA.
Now in pocket book format, Preserving A Home For Veterans has been edited and enhanced with historic and recent photographs of veterans’ life at the property. The book was printed by veterans at the Veterans Print Studio—another project which grew out of Strawberry Flag—and co-published by Les Figues Press as part of its TrenchArt series of new literature.
Map by Lou Pesce
Printed at the Veterans Print Studio, Los Angeles