this photo essay, associated with our forthcoming article in Visual Communication, “‘NO OUTLET’: A critical visual analysis of neoliberal narratives in mediated geographies,” focuses on images from 2013 (at left) and again 2015 (at right) in Miami’s Upper Eastside. some of the juxtapositions show change, while others maintain a similar look, reinforcing the adoption and normalization of visual symbols in our environments.
Walls commonly divide otherwise free-flowing public space in Miami’s Upper Eastside. Starting on the space’s southern edge, the barriers represent emerging neoliberal ideals of public-private collaboration.
A road in the Upper Eastside has been removed and replaced by hedges. Street paint and stop signs remain.
Installations, such as these reflective signs, block traffic both physically and visually — including at night. Signs also restrict “standing” or “stopping” in a public space increasingly controlled for private interests.
The Upper Eastside has become a space for development, as this empty (and former) “for sale” sign shows.
A restrictive “No Outlet” sign stands before a “credit” union, an image that represents the neighborhoods’ complexities and neoliberal/capitalistic characteristics.
Drivers (though not of trucks) are encouraged to pay to park, though walls throughout the area discourage easy access to what the neighborhood offers.
“Do Not Enter” and “Stop” signs, painted by the sun and street artists, become part of the environment, almost hidden (and naturalized) in foliage and architecture.
Signage such as this, including street names and a “No Outlet,” “Stop,” and right turn “Only” represent how the Upper Eastside, in both its overt and covert discourse, has come to present forced wayfinding and placemaking as common and protected.