Cian Oba-Smith, Redlining

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June 2020

This ongoing body of work from Cian looks at the effects of Redlining in America. With everything that is currently going on, Cian has chosen to share parts of this work, and even began a new instagram takeover on Negative Feedback after conversations with the founder, George. “We agreed that it would be great to use the platform to amplify the work of photographers of the African diaspora.” You can see his takeover from last week on their instagram, and keep checking it to see who else is sharing their work as part of this takeover.

“The body of work looks at the generational effects of redlining policy. Redlining was the widespread racist practice of colour coding areas based on race and then refusing bank loans and mortgages to the African American community because they resided in a red zone. If an African American family moved to a different block in a higher graded zone that block would be downgraded to red. This helped to stoke racial tensions and enforce segregation. Although the practice was made illegal in 1968 the discrimination did not stop. Banks used loopholes in zoning ordinance to enact the same policies, this went on for decades.

Using the original redlining map of Syracuse, I visited the communities that had been effected by segregation to document the generational effects of redlining policy.”