Anti-eviction mapping and the housing crisis

Feb 23 2017

In November 2016, the sixth edition of the Urban Pamphleteer series was published - Open Source Housing Crisis – looking at how communication technologies can engage critically with the underlying logics of London’s rapidly escalating housing crisis. In this Urban Pamphleteer seminar we have invited Erin McElroy, co-founder of the San Francisco-based Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, to discuss how digital mapping can make visible what gentrification and displacement make invisible.

Since the emergence of Silicon Valley’s Tech Boom 2.0, the San Francisco Bay Area has endured rapid restructuring of property value. As rental and home prices have skyrocketed, so have eviction rates, disproportionately leading to the dispossession of racialized poor and working-class tenants in San Francisco, Oakland, and other Bay Area urban spaces.

The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (AEMP) – a data visualization, data analysis, and cartographic narrative collective – arose to provide documentation and analysis of the eviction crisis, working alongside (rather than for) impacted communities, activist groups, and housing justice coalitions. In the tradition of feminist science studies and counter-cartography, and in active engagement with de-colonial methodology and intersectional politics, the AEMP has created over 100 digital cartographic and media arts pieces, utilizing multiple data sets of various genres. From correlative and causal maps that uncover links between real estate speculators and tech venture capital, to oral history and community power maps of loss and resistance, the project endeavors to collaboratively produce data useful to movement building. Aspiring towards futures in which entanglements between real estate, luxury development, tech corporations, and government cease to be the modus operandi of residential placement and displacement, the AEMP dreams of futures in which digital technologies are liberated from capital itself.

In this talk, AEMP cofounder Erin McElroy will elaborate upon the project and its visions while also highlighting numerous AEMP maps and media pieces that detail the contemporary contours of Bay Area gentrification.

Erin McElroy is co-founder of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project. She is a doctoral candidate in Feminist Studies at University of California, Santa Cruz. Erin’s project at UCSC applies post-socialist analytics, feminist science studies, critical geography, and critical race studies to unearth techno-utopic fantasies of freedom within and beyond the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, Erin is a media arts grantee of the Bay Area's Creative Work Fund and an artist fellow at the Kala Institute.

Invited responses will be given by a number of people representing organisations doing work on the London housing crisis:

• Rebecca Ross (Urban Pamphleteer)
• Nicolas Fonty (Just Map)
• Ben Beach (Radical Housing Network)
• Debbie Humphry and Barbara Brayshay (Livingmaps)
• Michael Edwards (Just Space)
• Representative from Concrete Action

The seminar is chaired by Ben Campkin (Urban Pamphleteer).