In 2015, the UN estimated there were 244 million international migrants—people in search of greater opportunities, stability among economic and climatic changes, and safety from violence. Many more individuals move within their own countries, pulled from the rural to the urban or pushed from cities to their peripheral sprawls. These are indigenous communities, people of color, immigrants and migrant workers, the homeless, the stateless, and refugees. Their displacement entails leaving or losing home and creating something new, often amid policies that regulate their presence while promoting the mobility of others, such as a border wall or referendum to leave.
This issue’s feature explores, documents, and critiques some of the spaces found throughout the migration process. It asks what it means to be displaced from home, to persevere en route, and to arrive elsewhere. Contributors describe displacements as three American cities cater to influxes of young, wealthy white people. They conceptualize architectures of those who can no longer build in places of their own. They survey precarious journeys through squats, camps, and detention centers. And they identify welcoming and unwelcoming spaces for migrants upon arrival in Europe and North America. Their pieces express feelings of loss and being lost, and they present various responses from collaboration to resistance.
As artist Reena Saini Kallat captures in Woven Chronicle, migration can be transformative for both individuals and society. However, obstacles exist in the process, especially as borders harden, migrants are marginalized, and gentrifiers displace people of color. Architecture should involve and listen, welcome and remember. Built and social environments should consider different perspectives and respect established communities of color. Spaces must say black, indigenous, and migrant lives matter.
Issue 34.2 will release online throughout the fall. Look for these feature contributors and topics:
Displacement in New Orleans by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
San Francisco Tech Bus Stops, Displacement, and Architectures of Racial Capitalism by Erin McElroy
The Hood Ain't the Same: An Interview with Draze by Gregory T. Woolston
Between Places by Sai Sinbondit
How to Build Without a Land by Saba Innab
Mapping the Makeshift Camps of Migration by Katja Ulbert
Our Country by Laura Doggett
Programmatic Violence by Tings Chak
Migration Routes as Conduits of Transformation by Reena Saini Kallat
Welcome to the Living Room! by Laura M. Pana
The Evolving Boundaries of Manhattan’s Chinatown by Shaolu Yu
Flygirl in the Butterfly Bush by C. Davida Ingram
Looking for Home in the Right Places by Claudia Castro Luna