An 11-storey window exhibition aims to highlight grassroots creativity in Downtown LA

Citizens of LA, the recent photographic campaign from KesselsKramer, aims to highlight the creative work and activism being undertaken by residents of the city’s Downtown district.

13 August 2021


The affordable luxury hotel citizenM has recently opened its Los Angeles branch. To signify the opening, the London and LA-based agency KesselsKramer has shone a bright Hollywood-esque spotlight on the “less famous but no less important faces” that make up the communities of Downtown LA.

Citizens of LA was photographed by Downtown local Corinne Schiavone who took the pictures of 52 creative and artistic locals using a Polaroid – a camera synonymous with Hollywood casting calls – aiming to capture the personality of the city.

KesselsKramer hopes that the “cast” of characters who fill the windows reflects a cross-section of local LA society – from entertainers to human-rights advocates, queer club night promoters to musicians and artists, even chefs who used their time and money cooking meals for Black Lives Matter campaigners.

The aim was to demonstrate how hard-working individuals are working creatively to inspire change in their communities and the district. Buck Angel is one of those spotlighted, a trans man who turned a porn career into a human-rights advocacy career and has since taken up motivational speaking. Angel’s face and the 51 others are painting a picture of an LA which has “an atmosphere of radical acceptance and radical support for outliers”, as described by Melinda Lee Holm, another Downtown LA regular who works as a Tarot priestess and author in the area.

The hotel company citizenM is also hoping to make its mark outside the US. It has opened up European branches in Zurich, Amsterdam and Copenhagen, holding similar exhibitions in these places, showcasing real denizens of those cities.

Citizens of LA is free all day and night during August up until the hotel’s opening on 23rd August.

GalleryCorinne Schiavone: citizens of LA (Copyright © KesselsKramer, 2021)

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Corinne Schiavone: citizens of LA (Copyright © KesselsKramer, 2021)

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About the Author

Dalia Al-Dujaili

Dalia is a freelance writer, producer and editor based in London. She’s currently the digital editor of Azeema, and the editor-in-chief of The Road to Nowhere Magazine. Previously, she was news writer at It’s Nice That, after graduating in English Literature from The University of Edinburgh.

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