Resistance Mapping is an interactive exercise that often leads to conversations about gentrification and displacement, safety and perception, and bias. I work with participants to create maps that document their cities or neighborhoods. Taking inspiration from Janice M. Irvine's affective mapping framework, we chart how and where feelings are evoked, how emotions change, fade, and under what circumstances they might reemerge along their map. We explore if these emotional shifts are being influenced by the built environment, or by encounters with people. We discuss how the built environment impacts us emotionally, physically, and socially.
Working in small groups, we then discuss how participants can move their maps from emotional dissonance, hesitancy, or complacency to resistance. We reflect on the following prompts and questions:
- Are there issues or constraints your group is experiencing in common? - Is there something you can do as a group to collectively shift your maps?
The hope is that the maps encourage participants to move differently in association with one another and in the environments they walk through daily. Through radical imagination, we re-make our landscapes, and rethink community. Participants walk away from the session with a physical map they can return to while on their neighborhood routes.
I developed Resistance Mapping as an artist-in-residence at MacEwan University in Alberta, located on ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ, Amiskwacîwâskahikan, Treaty 6 Territory, Canada in August 2018. The workshop was led with transgender and gender non-conforming people at the Pride Centre of Edmonton's Trans Camp, and for a general audience at the Mitchell Art Gallery.