The Decolonial Atlas
About the website…
THE DECOLONIAL ATLAS is a growing collection of maps which, in some way, help us to challenge our relationships with the land, people, and state. It’s based on the premise that cartography is not as objective as we’re made to believe. The orientation of a map, its projection, the presence of political borders, which features are included or excluded, and the language used to label a map are all subject to the map-maker’s bias – whether deliberate or not. Because decolonization is a process of unlearning and rediscovering, we’re especially committed to indigenous language revitalization through toponymy – the use of place names.
The map above shows the racially Segregated US coastline
Go to any beach town in the United States, and you notice a disturbing trend. While the town itself might be racially diverse, the actual waterfront property is almost exclusively occupied by white people. Using race and population data from the 2010 census mapped by National Geographic, we were able to spot this rampant form of racial segregation throughout the country from rural coastal communities to tourist towns to major cities. In each location, people of color have been systematically excluded from living on the shore. What’s more startling though is that there are often large communities of color just a little further inland, where many are presumably low-wage service workers whose labor makes the affluent lives of the coastal white people possible.