2015 to 2016

Make DC Weird

Make D.C. Weird launched in late 2015 as an experiment in civic messaging about “the city we have, the city we love, the city we want.”

The slogan is intentionally ambiguous. It references well-known efforts to “keep” cities like Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas weird, but replaces “keep” with “make,” a demand that demands something more than the status quo, or at the very least that there is work to be done.

What does weird mean? How do we see D.C. in relation to cities that embrace ‘weirdness’ (or ‘normalcy’)? How does a message insisting on change come across in a context of constant change, displacement, rising rents, and erasure of history? What is the relationship between our perception of D.C. as residents and the perception much of the country has of “D.C.” as indistinguishable from the Federal government headquartered within our city limits.

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