The assumption that all people are able to actualize the rights, benefits, and responsibilities of citizenship within the built environment is misleading. African Americans’ ownership of property and use of public space for personal enjoyment has been historically perceived as transgressive behavior, and often met with punitive legal action, violence, and, at times, death. Given this context, the ability of African Americans to successfully navigate and shape the physical spaces within their lives has amounted to de facto survival strategies.
Addressing this fraught social-spatial condition and its impact at the scale of the citizen, Thrival Geographies (In My Mind I See a Line), an intervention in the courtyard of the US Pavilion, is rooted in the historical spatial practices of African Americans, yet speculates upon new spatial strategies that support the most precarious of populations. We foreground these practices as manifestations of civic agency and freedom that move all citizens beyond mere survival toward thrival and full participation in the democratic ideal.
Watch Copenhagen Architecture Festival’s global short film competition submissions focusing on the UN's 'Leave No One Behind' agenda (LNOB)!