Location: Langley, WA, United States
GHOSTS OF SEGREGATION
All human landscape has cultural meaning. Because we rarely consider our constructions as evidence of our priorities, beliefs and desires, the testimony our landscape tells is perhaps more honest than anything we might intentionally present. Our built environment is society's autobiography writ large.
Ghosts of Segregation photographically explores the vestiges of America's racism as seen in the vernacular landscape, hidden in plain sight: Schools for "colored" children, theatre entrances and restrooms for "colored people," lynching sites, juke joints, jails, hotels and bus stations. Past is prologue.
We often take our daily environments for granted, but within even the most mundane edifice may lurk an important bit of history. If we are curious and diligent, we can read our surroundings like a book. That stairway apparently to nowhere once went somewhere. The curious palimpsest of bricks covers something. What purpose did they serve?
Segregation is as much current events as it is history. These ghosts haunt us because they are very much alive. While this project to date has focused on the Deep South, prejudice has no geographic boundaries. I have all of America to explore.