We Call It The Red Line
This crankie was performed for the Creative Alliance's Crankie Fest in 2019. It's 15 minutes and appx 150 ft long. It combines personal narrative and family history with Baltimore City's history of transit injustice and racial segregation. A painted scroll, backlighting, paper-cut puppets, and an original sound scape help shape the narrative. Special thanks to Emily Schubert, the curator of Crankie Fest, and puppeteer assistant for this crankie.
This crankie summarizes my father's short stint in the east-side fight against the expressway in the 1960's and 70's, or what we now call: the Highway to Nowhere. As a public artist with an interest in city planning and a desire to connect my arts background to organizers working to shift policy, for the last three years I have volunteered with the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition (BTEC). This grassroots, Black-led organization grew from the cancellation of the Red Line light rail in 2015 to organize Baltimore around reviving the vision for public transit with a focus on equity.
This crankie started with a series of interviews from BTEC members and my father, along with archical research through the University of Baltimore. It charts the history of how racist transit systems have impacted Baltimore's segregation, reflects on the role my family and others' played in that process, and confronts the ways in which I carry my father's legacy forward within a contemporary context.
Included hear are other BTEC campaign images I created, or workshops I co-faciliated, along with original flyer designs from various campaigns.