Category Archives: Race

JeeYeun Lee, Walking Detroit (2017-18)

This book brings together documentation of work made in and about Detroit from 2017 to 2018. It includes writing and images from pieces including: “Walking Detroit” (2017-2018), “Michigan Avenue: Hart Plaza, Detroit, MI to 47330 Michigan Avenue, Canton, MI” (2017), “Unsettling: A Walk through Cranbrook” (2018), and “Architextural Disruptions” (2018). Appendices include slides from a research presentation on Detroit history, and a bibliography.




Walking Detroit (2017-2018)
Woodward Avenue
Interlude: Installation April 4, 2017
Jefferson Avenue
Gratiot Avenue
Grand River Avenue
Interlude: My Mother’s Store
Michigan Avenue
Michigan Avenue: Hart Plaza, Detroit, MI to 47330 Michigan Avenue, Canton, MI (2017)
Interlude: Installation December 8, 2017
Dearborn & Inkster
Bloomfield Hills
Interlude: Installation August 25, 2018


Unsettling: A Walk through Cranbrook (2018)
Architextural Disruptions (2018)
Interlude: All Times Exist Now


Appendix A: Research Presentation
Appendix B: Bibliography

Dread Scott, “Slave Rebellion Reenactment” (2019)

people walking during a reenactment

Credit: The Guardian, a still from video piece


A community-engaged artist performance and film production that, on November 8-9, 2019, reimagined the German Coast Uprising of 1811, which took place in the river parishes just outside of New Orleans. Envisioned and organized by artist Dread Scott and documented by filmmaker John Akomfrah, Slave Rebellion Reenactment (SRR) animated a suppressed history of people with an audacious plan to organize and seize Orleans Territory, to fight not just for their own emancipation, but to end slavery. It is a project about freedom.

The artwork involved hundreds of reenactors in period specific clothing marching for two days covering 26 miles. The reenactment, the culmination of a period of organizing and preparation, took place upriver from New Orleans in the locations where the 1811 revolt occurred—with the exurban communities and industry that have replaced the sugar plantations as its backdrop. The reenactment was an impressive and startling sight—hundreds of Black re-enactors, many on horses, flags flying, in 19th-century French colonial garments, singing in Creole and English to African drumming.

Pope.L , The Great White Way: 22 miles, 9 years, 1 street, Broadway, New York (2001-09)

[image credit]

man crawling and rolling in a superman costume

William Pope L., “Training Crawl”, (for The Great White Way: 22 miles, 5 years, 1 street), 2001. Lewiston, Maine. Performance photographs. © William Pope L. Courtesy of the artist.

Check out this descriptive article from 2003, from the work in-progress:

“The socio-economic implications of Broadway are enormous, and examining what Broadway “represents” is the first key to making some sense of William Pope.L’s complex, ongoing street performance The Great White Way.”

“Since the late 1970s, Pope.L has been infecting the streets of New York with periodic street performances, reminders that the country, city, and culture he lives in have a long way to go before the discomforts of race and stereotyping have safely receded.”

In this work, Pope.L crawled the full length of Broadway.

The entire crawl was recorded on video and later edited.

Ingrid Pollard “Wordsworth Heritage” (1992)

photographs of Black people in the landscape

Ingrid Pollard [credit]


This photographic work was originally presented as a billboard image on 25 urban sites around  the UK. The image takes the form of a mass produced tourist postcard. It shows the profile of William Wordsworth, 19th century English Poet Laureate. Wordsworth and his poetry are icons closely linked with the ‘Lake District’. A group of contemporary Black walkers transform the  ‘Romantic’ landscape and ideas of History and Heritage.

From Ingrid Pollard (2004) in The Art of Walking: A Field Guide:

“Going to the Lake District over the years, collecting postcards, deliberately searching out England’s timeworn countryside ‘the way it’s always been,’ searching the postcard-stand for the card that shows a sunny upland scene with a black person standing, looking over the hills. Never finding it. I fantisise about encountering that image amongst the England of craggy rocks, rushing streams and lowly sheep. Simple stories, simple connections.”

People standing in front of Billboard

Billboard, Kings Cross London. Dr Julian Agyeman & Ingrid Pollard

John Schuerman “Walk Around 3rd Precinct” (2020)

John Schuerman is a Minneapolis-based artist and curator who took a walk around the Minneapolis 3rd police precinct in mid-July 2020. This was just a few months after the murder of George Floyd. Schuerman posted the following description and images from his walk on Facebook, forming a multi-faceted archive of the experience.

“A few days ago, I set out to walk the perimeter of the 3rd precinct in Minneapolis. After 20+ miles and 24 hrs I arrived back home, maybe wiser. It was a walking meditation on our community’s pain and roiling. I trace for you here a small part of my motional and emotional trip. The text below corresponds to the images in order as they happened.”

a map drawing

The Cauldron, arsonist ashes and ink on paper. The 3rd precinct contains the George Floyd murder site, ground zero for the mass-property destruction (Lake and Minnehaha), the two largest homeless encampments (Powderhorn, Minnehaha) and the soaring crime rates, free food stations, protests, street art, and more.

map of 3rd police precinct

Map of my walk. (which encircled all my other recent walks)


path next to highway

The Edgelands -Miles and miles of walls, highways and edgeland culture.


drawings from ash

My Darkness, arsonist ashes on paper. Anxieties about water -due to COVID all public sources of water are closed, so I had to filter water from lakes and streams. Harshness of my surroundings, unnerving parts of the walk (places where I felt viewed with suspicion). Recalling my concerns and snippets from other walks. The vigilantes: “We don’t need luck, we got guns.” The homeless men: “Did so and so ever make it back?” “NO. he OD’d at the Center”. The Police Officer: “I wish I could help you but I can’t”, rape and gun violence in the encampments… I ask myself, ‘Why am I out here?’ it’s a dark feeling.


Camp, next to Ford Parkway. Former homeless campsite, they probably moved to the Minnehaha encampment I walked through. Careful. Sweaty, Anxious. Fireworks rain through the trees as I turn in. I hear gunshots as I wake at 4:30 am. Pack up, glad to be through the night.


Beauty. The great river bluffs.

car with writing on it

The city again. What do we do to one another? Why?

selfie on the street

Familiar streets. I ease up. Franklin and 2nd ave. I walk on, pass another memorial. Two weeks ago the police found a man’s body in the street here, multiple gunshot wounds. Booze bottles, candles and trash mark the site.

street memorial

Almost home. 38th and Chicago

map drawing

Hope, arsonist ashes on paper. Can we still the violent, smoldering container, and reform to a kinder more equitable society? I hope but don’t feel hopeful. I hope our civic leaders will think hard and find wisdom, and if they do not, we vote them out no matter their politics. I felt like I had to do this walk. It wasn’t pleasant, but it was real. I took some risks to reckon with things. I’m left with many questions. How much safer was I on this walk because I’m male? Because I’m white? Will dis-empowering and demonizing the police lead to more violence in the long run as it has in the short run? Can police reform happen with a corrupt union in place? (a problem not exclusive to the police). Is America capable of working for its collective? or are we bound to a culture of self-interest? Am I?