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CSUF Faculty Present “Mapping for a Change” in Washington, D.C.

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Scherly Virgill, research associate, Sarah Rafael García, visiting professor of creative writing for the Latinx Lab at CSUF, and Jamila Moore Pewu, assistant professor of history, recently presented “Mapping For A Change” at the Race, Ethnicity, and Place conference in Washington, D.C.

In 2018, the Mapping Arts OC platform launched a project documenting public art practices in Santa Ana, using a community-informed digital mapping platform, a bilingual mobile walking tour, and an illustrative history and coloring book. Two weeks later, the City of Santa Ana released a similar call for a map documenting public art and local history but left out important sites for Black and Latinx communities. In response, Crear Studio, a free interdisciplinary art and community gallery (established by the community-based OC arts leader Rafael Garcia), and local artist Roger Reyes collaborated to create a counter map in 2021.

The panel featured presentations from Mapping Arts OC (featuring work led by Moore Pewu and  Virgill) and Mapping Santa Ana (a digital story map created by Rafael Garcia), which combine critical cartographic practices with digital archiving to help change or reimagine local/global histories, communities, and even disciplines. They specifically consider how digital maps created by and with local communities not only resist cooptation by opportunistic enterprises but also how they can empower residents to take active roles in crafting and safeguarding their collective spatial narratives. In addition, the panel covered discussion on how universities and communities can work together to engage in co-creative and restorative humanities practices.

Sarah Garcia