Exhibition Opening: “Evicted” at Jackson State University
In April 2018, the National Building Museum opened a new, “eye-opening” exhibition exploring the causes and impacts of eviction, based on Matthew Desmond’s award-winning book Evicted. Since then, thousands of people have come through the show to learn more about the national eviction crisis.
A stable place to call home is one of the best predictors of success. Yet, each year more than 2.3 million Americans, most of them low-income renters, face eviction. While it used to be rare even in the poorest neighborhoods, forcible removal has become ordinary, with families facing eviction from the most squalid, barely inhabitable apartments. This phenomenon exposes not only income inequality in America, but also the growing separation between the built environments of the rich and the poor.
Housing instability threatens all aspects of family life: health, jobs, school, and personal relationships. Landlords hesitate to rent to those with eviction records, or charge them extra money, causing a devastating negative feedback loop. Children switch schools too often to make friends or be noticed and helped by teachers; neighbors cannot develop bonds; personal belongings are left in storage or out on the street. Americans often take home for granted—home forms the building blocks of community life—and this stability is under attack when eviction looms.
Specially commissioned visual infographics and forward-thinking design introduce visitors to the numbers and statistics they need to know in order to understand the crisis. Rates of evictions in different markets make evident the depths of the problem. Working together, these elements amplify tenants’ voices, as they explain in their own words the impact eviction has on them and their loved ones.
For more information: https://www.jsums.edu/margaretwalkercenter/2021/05/26/evicted-an-exhibition/