August 1, 2019
An Afield image offering a critique of design’s complicity in state violence was just republished in the new book America the Beautiful and Violent (Columbia University Press, 2019) by Dexter R. Voisin.
The original 2015 image appeared in the Chicago magazine New City here and was a part of a Kai Wood Mah and Patrick Lynn Rivers article critical of architect Jeanne Gang’s proposal to use Chicago police stations to provide social services—where, for example, black youth could get to know Chicago police officers on basketball courts.
The book by Voisin uses the voices of Chicago youth, their parents, and their communities to offer structural analysis explicating the epidemic violence on Chicago’s South Side. As a counterpoint to the demagoguery of politicians using the violence for their own end, the book as billed “offers a set of practice and policy recommendations to address the patchwork inequality that leads to concentrated violence and to support children and adolescents struggling with the precarious conditions and threat of violence in their daily lives.”
Voisin, a psychotherapist and social worker, is Dean of the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Sandra Rotman Chair in Social Work at the University of Toronto.