Scars of Racism
Scars of Racism seeks to document the lasting physical reminders of racism on the American landscape. The legacy of racism exists throughout our society–in culture, language, and economics. With these photos I’m attempting to highlight how institutional racism of the past lingers today in the roads we travel, the houses we live in and even where we dump our trash. Recently, there has been substantial reporting about how discriminatory housing policy fueled the massive wealth gap that exists today. White families’ wealth is as much as ten times higher than that of African-American families. The project is also an exploration of how we observe. Compositionally, shooting from directly above, decades of history fuse together to become a flattened plane, the abstract details of the past scratched onto roofs, streets, and sidewalks. In turn, the act of viewing these images becomes an active questioning of the image. For a moment we are at a loss visually, with no sense of perspective, scale, or recognition. The images challenge the brain and require us to look more carefully. In doing so, it prompts us to consider our relationship not only to the unfamiliar landscape, but to our history as well.