CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

Overtown: Neighborhood, Change, Challenge and “Invironment.”

Department

Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

Publication Date

5-7-2013

Publication Title

The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability

Volume

18

Issue

4

First Page

384

Last Page

401

Abstract

This paper explores how residents of Overtown, a low-income neighbourhood in Miami, Florida, view the positive and negative aspects of their neighbourhood “invironment” through photographs taken by residents. The “invironment” [Bell, M., 2004. An invitation to environmental sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press] alludes to the interactions between environment/surroundings and the human body. Residents involved with a community social justice organisation were provided with a photographic workshop and cameras to visually document the positive and negative aspects of their neighbourhood. These participant photographers provided narratives paired with their photographs which were then exhibited at local community events. During the exhibits, community members’ comments on the photographs were recorded. This paper analyses community issues through both photographs and neighbourhood comments inspired by the photographs. The following themes of importance to residents were derived from the photographs and discussion with residents: Housing, Public Space, Neighbourhood Economy, History, Environmental/Invironmental Issues, Human Capital and Power. These themes were all connected by residents’ concerns about inequality in Overtown compared to other neighbourhoods in Miami.

DOI

10.1080/13549839.2013.790352

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