UNDESIGN THE REDLINE is opening September 30, 2021, 6 - 8pm. Join us for the opening via live-stream on Instagram Live @barnlib.
The Barnard College installation of the traveling exhibition Undesign the Redline, will be on view at the Milstein Center from September 2021 - May 2022. This interactive exhibition combines history, art, and storytelling with community outreach and collaboration as a means to reckon with systemic racism and the legacy of redlining in Barnard and Columbia’s neighborhoods.
Undesign presents a national and local history of redlining practices through a series of custom panels made up of primary and secondary sources, student and community contributions, and multimedia narratives. The Undesign installation provokes inquiry about the persistence of racism in our built environment and systems, by tracing social and spatial histories prior to the creation of redlined maps by the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation (HOLC) in 1938 through to the present. The exhibition provides a lens through which we can examine empirical phenomena such as racialized inequities in public health, vulnerability to climate disaster, exposure to algorithmic bias and differential access to resources. Viewers are asked to consider what it takes to “undesign” the past and build something radically different. Working with a New York-based social design studio Designing the WE, both internal and external stakeholders in Barnard’s upper Manhattan neighborhoods and the Bronx, including faculty, students, and community members have co-created parts of the exhibition, bridging academic research with personal and community narratives.
The opening event and reception will feature a conversation with Undesign creator, April De Simone (Designing the WE), and celebrate the variety of contributions made by the exhibition team.
This program is funded by Barnard Library and Academic Information Services, Barnard Engages, Barnard Center for Research on Women, a grant from Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and an Addressing Racism Seed Grant from the Trustees of Columbia University. Co-sponsors include: Barnard Digital Humanities Center, the Center for Engaged Pedagogy, and the Barnard–Columbia Urban Studies Program.