Author: Sally El Sayed

Memory Walks of the “Ungeographic”: The Demolition of Black History

Studio: MArch Thesis

Advisor: Suzanne Harris-Brandts and Johan Voordouw

Year: 2020-2021

Project Description

Memory Walks of the “Ungeographic” explores how demolition serves as a tool to disproportionately misrepresent, criminalize, and erase Black people from Canadian history. Such demolition of space fits into a larger pattern of concealment and marginalization, painting a skewed picture of Black geographies in Canada. The state’s determination to deny the historical and contemporary presence of Black people on their land requires the constant and repeated destruction of any evidence of their existence. The project analyzes, interprets, and speculates how the formation, distribution, and commodification of stories, memories, and political interests support such demolitions. This thesis uses modes of making— tracing, stitching, tearing, weaving, and cutting— to picture built space through its countless layers and threads produced by conflict, capital, subordination, and care. Using the framework of digital gardens, it will also explore how the memories and stories of unseen, undocumented, and “ungeographic” govern agency in physical space.