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New York museum spotlights South LA mapping project

More than 70 riders handed out copies of the Healthy Food map as they biked through South Los Angeles earlier this year. (Photo/Courtesy of Ride South LA)
Photo: More than 70 riders handed out copies of the Healthy Food map as they biked through South Los Angeles earlier this year. (Photo/Courtesy of Ride South LA)

The Guggenheim Museum in New York has opened an exhibition on the Participatory City, including a video about “collaborative urban mapping” in South Los Angeles.

“Our video reveals how mapping can be deliberately low-tech, partly for reasons of equity, but surprisingly for innovation, too,” said Benjamin Stokes, a researcher and organizer at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The exhibition, which explores the key themes and ideas that emerged from the BMW Guggenheim Lab during travels to Berlin and Mumbai, will continue through Jan. 5.

Food justice is at the heart of the mapping project.

“The video and map document the innovative efforts that have emerged from within South LA to counteract the overwhelmingly bleak reality of our food environment,” said Neelam Sharma, executive director of Community Services Unlimited, one of the organizations behind the mapping initiative.

The mapping video is three minutes in length and was produced and largely filmed by USC doctoral student Karl Baumann and translated into Spanish by Eileen Forbes of T.R.U.S.T. South LA.

“My hope is that this map will allow us to bring to light some of the many efforts to address food access in South Los Angeles,” said Tafarai Bayne of T.R.U.S.T. South LA. “Both visitors and residents can use the map to find all kinds of local resources, some obvious and some not so. This map helps go beyond what’s not working to reveal positive stories about South Los Angeles.”

Collaborators include the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, Community Services Unlimited and T.R.U.S.T. South LA. To view the mapping video, visit RideSouthLA.com

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