People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.

Placeless events are inconceivable, in that everything that happens must happen somewhere.
Robert Macfarlane

I began to see racism and its rituals of segregation as a symptom of a grave illness. When people think more of their skin color than of their souls, something has happened to them.
Lillian Smith


The Spaces We Inherit explores the historical legacy and contemporary significance of lynchings and racial murder on the American people and the American landscape through photographs, interviews, sound recordings, and a short film.

Based on over twelve months of research and documentation across eleven states, this online archive features a selection of photographs in Spaces that show the exact or approximate location where individuals were lynched or murdered, reflecting not just the universality and mundanity of physical space but the simultaneous nature of presence and absence - what is both seen and not seen. This section also features portraits and stories with direct connections to the physical locations and historical events, while others explore race relations in a broader context. All interviews have been edited for length and clarity and were conducted between 2016-2017. 

As it was before, so it is again. The specters of slavery, lynching, and segregation appear, on the surface, to be relics of a bygone era and a bloody past, the mistakes of previous generations and governments. But they endure: disguised in new uniforms, hidden under the chimera of modernity, reshaped and renamed for the contemporary age. And then there are the atrocities themselves, the physical spaces upon which they took place, and the psychological landscapes within which they still reside and still haunt.