Activist Artists Document Housing Crisis in Providence

200oxford web 1024x673 733944"We want to take beautiful photos but don’t want to aestheticize a real problem. This is not about urban exploration, lonely chairs, and peeling paint."
-Josh Oakhurst, Forgotten Providence-

Artist Oakhurst, along with artists Sam Holland and Myles Dumas recently launched "Forgotten Providence," an interactive web site where visitors will find images of abandoned homes as well as information telling that home's story: links to property data, user submissions and discussion in the comments, and an open forum to discuss the issues surrounding these abandoned homes. Think of it as crowdsourcing how the American housing crisis has affected one city.

Here is the narrative for the house captured in the image above:

"Over four sales between 2000 and its eventual foreclosure in 2007, the “value” of this duplex rose 500%. No significant repairs were made during that time period.

It’s now boarded, vacant, rotting, and vandalized"

The group intends to engage in more civic engagement. As Oakhurst told Poptech, he hopes to “pursue engagement on a political level; using the expertise learned (in putting together this site) to go after political campaign projects or governmental/municipal interaction displays on screen media, be it the web, mobile, or interactive touch screen displays.”

Check out Forgotton Providence online.

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