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Moving the Line - Shifting Borders in American Cities

In the 1930's, the Home Owner's Loan Corporation was conceived with the singular purpose of providing federal support on mortgage underwriting risk. In practice, the firm quantified that risk largely through the lens of perceived racial desirability. The borders drawn by the HOLC, literal red lines that demarcated neighbourhoods to be starved of investment, still express contemporary inequalities in socioeconomic security. In general, there persists today in America an embedded network of such structural factors, contributing to unequal social outcomes. Before and beyond any specific instances of explicit, personally-directed bias, are such historically-defined patterns of disenfranchisement, operating outside the purview of the public sphere. . Compounding the issue of discursively challenging these structures are broad misconceptions on their character and import. When conversations are allowed to focus around only the most explicit and interpersonal instances, it enables all else to be hand-waved away with only vague dismissals; premises are hidden and rhetoric is elevated. However, with issues as directly geospatial as redlining and de facto segregation, there exists an opportunity in visual media to create direct, concise, and easily-interpretable representations of typically oblique content- content that remains both vital to contemporary social welfare, and fundamentally misunderstood by the American layman.


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