Settler Colonialism, Militarism and Migration: A Community History of San Diego

Patty Ahn
UC San Diego

Simeon Man
UC San Diego

This project offers a collective digital story map that visualizes the dynamics of power and resistance in one of the most militarized places in the world. San Diego is home to a massive defense industry and a network of military bases that enables U.S. state violence on a global scale; at the same time, its carceral geography comprised of militarized borders, checkpoints, detention centers, and policing work to contain the very populations that have been displaced by that violence. This project captures and amplifies the stories of many Asian, Black, Latinx, and Native artists, organizers, families, and everyday folks who have been displaced and dispossessed by settler colonialism, militarism, and border security, and yet have forged communities of belonging through collective organizing and resistant practices. Using ArcGIS’s dynamic Esri Story Maps web-application, the project offers a multimodal, interactive atlas that layers the stories of activists, academics, artists, and everyday folks told through text, audio recordings, and images onto particular places in San Diego. It aims to make visible San Diego’s militarized and carceral landscape while presenting an alternative vision and knowledge-production about the region’s past, present, and future.