Chapter A Retrospective

An interactive retrospective of the Great Wall of Los Angeles located in San Fernando Valley. Muralist Judith F. Baca spent five summers wit...

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The Beginning: How The Great Wall Of Los Angeles Was Conceived
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Building The Great Wall Of Los Angeles
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Restoration Of The Great Wall Of Los Angeles
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New Voices: New Faces In Los Angeles Muralism
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Through the Communities Eyes: Perceptions of the Great Wall
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The Next Chapter for the Great Wall of Los Angeles


A Retrospective Mural
In 1974, the Army Corps of Engineers approached Judith F. Baca to build a mural in the Tujunga Wash Flood Control Channel. Beyond her very imagination, it would lead to the inception of the Great Wall of Los Angeles. The half-mile long mural in the San Fernando Valley--beginning in prehistoric times and extends to the 1950s-- reveals historical events representative of California's immigrant and minority communities.

What began with Baca's own paper and pencil eventually grew to involve over 400 youths, who collaborated with muralists, historians, professors, and community members to produce the Wall. After 5 years, with 600 gallons of paint and over 65,000 hours of labor, the Great Wall was established, conveying long overlooked histories and, for some, deeply personal memories.

Now the mural has become an asset for the growingly diverse community, and for Los Angeles, a catalyst for social justice. The Wall continues to be a work-in-progress: a 3-year-long restoration began in 2008, and plans are in place to extend the mural through to the 1990s.

The video interviews in this installment of Departures were initially produced September 17, 2011 at SPARC's official celebration of the restoration of the Great Wall of Los Angeles through the StoryShare initiative.

Additional video interviews were produced for the Departures Venice installment as well as the Venice Youth Voices program in 2009.

Images and the video documentary of the Great Wall of Los Angeles are courtesy of SPARC.

A big thank you to SPARC, co-founder and muralist Judith F. Baca, Executive Director Debra Padilla, and all of the StoryShare participants.

We encourage you to visit the mural for yourself. Use our guide with suggestions for places to eat and how to get there (you don't need a car).