Documentary Landscape | Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin
Foreign Land: San Fernando Valley

In a city that is rapidly transforming, there is an temporary oasis to the north that has been left largely unscathed by the current wave of redevelopment and gentrification. The place I’m speaking of is the San Fernando Valley, specifically North Hollywood and Van Nuys. While there is a large amount of new construction underway (the pace of which is accelerating) the valley has been left relatively untouched by the upheaval taking place south of the 101.

I began photographing the valley about 18 months ago after my family moved to Toluca Lake. As someone who grew up in the Koreatown/Hollywood area it was initially very foreign. Something about the density (or lack of) of the environment just struck me as odd.

As time passed and I settled in it dawned on me that the valley today is very reminiscent of the Los Angeles I remember from about 15 years ago. The neighborhoods I encounter still vibrate with an authenticity that I took for granted in the past, but has now all but disappeared from the city I love.