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Stories From ‘The Far East’ (East County That Is)


Justin Hudnall, project director of The Far East Project.

Eldonna Lay, historian, author, former educator and curator of the Knox House Museum in El Cajon.


Photo credit: Claire Caraska

The cover of The Far East Project's first book, "Everything Just As It Is."

Many coastal-dwellers in San Diego used to sport bumper stickers proclaiming "there is no life East of I-5." That flippant comment represents a certain dismissive attitude toward inland San Diego, especially the East County communities. And it's an attitude a new literary/art project is hoping to change.

The Far East Project, made possible by a grant through the San Diego Foundation, is an ongoing effort to create "a people's history of San Diego's East County" by collecting poems, personal narratives, photographs and performances about life east of the 5.

Led by Justin Hudnall, the project recently published its first book, "The Far East: Everything Just As It Is," which features writings by over 40 contributors. Hudnall hopes that The Far East Project will not only change people's perspectives on East County, but also will help jump start its economy through arts and culture.

In addition to the book (with future volumes in the works), The Far East Project includes a website where people can contribute their own East County stories and photos, as well as staged performances and events. You can hear some of the authors read their works this Friday, November 30, during “The Far East Project: 2012 Closing Ceremonies” celebration at 3rd Space in University Heights.

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