The Spatial Justice Network
Is Black Space defined merely by context or by a ritual practice? Black communities have long been disenfranchised from owning and having access to public space to safely congregate, converse, and share generational knowledge. These spaces, often institutionalized and owned by White America, have long disproportionately slowed the economic progress of urban spaces occupied by those who identify with the African Diaspora. Sacred spaces are culturally significant in black communities, none more popular than the barbershop/salon. “The shop” is one of the few culturally significant black spaces that has facilitated cultural practices for black identity. In an afrofuturist future, how can the barbershop be the center of community growth and engagement? How does it’s program evolve connect to black cultures worldwide?
The comic, “The Spatial Justice Network” follows a young woman who imagines a world where white confederate monuments have been eradicated from U.S. to make room for sacred spaces that celebrate multicultural identity. These sacred spaces are facilitated by the program of the barbershop. Constructed within the boundaries of a digital display board, which takes the form of a digital monument, the barbershop attracts the local community to a forum where getting your hair “did” is an opportunity to share stories and opportunities with your peers. As a form of healing but also triumph, these stories are shared worldwide to other digitally connected monuments which share the challenges and opportunities black communities are experiencing. No longer are black communities disenfranchised from controlling the narratives of their communities. The strategies that we employ to overcome pain and injustice are now broadcasted in communities to be shared and understood for future generations to come. Our voices, and new are broadcasted for us and by us. The “spatial justice network” connects black communities across the globe to strengthen the opportunities for advocacy and placemaking for centuries to come. All while being done as you get your last shadow fade.