Thursday, April 15, 2010
There are may different stereotypes that come with being a white college student in Baltimore city. It's unfortunate, but true, that race plays a huge role in the fabric of the urban environment. However, depending on the area, a different stereotype occurs. I have been trying to exit the idea of the "mica bubble" at least once a day as a breather for myself; this includes the areas of Bolton Hill, Mt.Vernon, ad the Charles North Arts and Entertainment District. Within the arts district, there is the automatic assumption, for the most part, that almost anyone white is somehow currently or was connected with MICA. However, once you exit SNAED, that stereotype completely dissolves, regardless of the way you dress and what you carry, and a new stereotype blankets you depending on the new neighborhood you've entered. I was recently photographing in east Baltimore in close proximity to Hopkins Medical. I was carrying a camera, and dress like I normally do; this would usually automatically categorize me as a MICA student; however, that was not the numerous encounters that I experienced. One man even pulled his car over to ask me if I was in the market for real estate, ad if I was photographing potential properties. I looked at him puzzled, only to realize that I was too far removed from MICA for the common stereotypes I am so accustomed to. I told him that I won't be ready to buy property for years, and I'm lucky if I can afford rent. He laughed and then asked what I was doing then, since people are always looking to buy property. I told him I was photographing for a project for school, and he said that was cool and keep doing what I'm doing. That interaction would never occur within SNAED. Usually I feel as though I'm being invasive when photographing around SNAED and MICA, and often think many of the long-term residents and homeowners become often annoyed.