Activist Cartography and Data Visualization: On the Work of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project

Activist Cartography and Data Visualization FULLPlease join us for a public talk by Erin McElroy, director of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, on February 22nd at 4:30pm in room B8 of the geography department. Also in attendance will be discussants Beth Kamunge, doctoral researcher in human geography, and Alasdair Rae, Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies and Planning.

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 - 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 decolonial 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 also 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.

Erin McElroy is the cofounder of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project - a data visualization, data analysis, and oral history collective documenting the dispossession and resistance of Bay Area residents in the wake of the Tech Boom. She is also a doctoral candidate in Feminist Studies at UC 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 she is a media arts grantee of the Bay Area's Creative Work Fund and an artist fellow at the Kala Institute.

Erin McElroy will also meet with PGR and early career researchers over lunch catered by the Street Food Chef on the 22nd. There are still a few spaces left for this, so if you, a student, or research associate or postdoc is interested in participating, please contact Desiree Fields.
Please also see a piece Erin McElroy recently published on
Housing, Whiteness, and Abolition in the Time of Trump.