Megan Mertaugh, Diaspora
“What history is disappearing and to where are our displaced communities moving?”
- scattering, dispersion
- the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland
Diaspora is a film installation projected on a home that has gone through the process of foreclosure, and after sitting vacant for four years will now be demolished. Designed to provide a visual voice for our community confronting the consequences of foreclosure, Diaspora highlights the temporary physical existence of the house – once a home – and the looming disappearance of this structure and its history altogether located at 2726 Stevens Ave South, Minneapolis, MN. Once the sun sets June 4th, viewers will be able to drive by or stroll along the sidewalk of address 2726 Stevens Ave South, and witness the house glowing with imagery of other homes that have since been demolished in surrounding areas of Minneapolis as well as throughout our nation. This projection will be visible throughout the night until the sun rises to our new day, June 5th. How does displacement affect our community? Does our city and do we ourselves acknowledge the struggle of our neighbors? Does our community grow stronger by erasing condemned properties and leaving a vacant lot for a new future? What history is disappearing and to where are our displaced communities moving? How responsible are we for our community?
Diaspora aims to initiate a discussion within our community about the above questions and acknowledge how our community is changing and why. This project intends to give the silent issues surrounding foreclosure leverage by providing a projection platform that will publicly highlight how prevalent foreclosure is and how many people are directly facing the reality of foreclosure within our community.
House #1: 2726 Stevens Ave, Mpls, MN 55408
Megan Mertaugh, a native of Traverse City, MI recently moved to Minneapolis. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan, Megan has presented her work in many university productions, and throughout venues in MI and WA, including at The Moore Theatre in Seattle. Known for her production installations within abandoned, historical institutions and buildings, some of Megan’s past works have been located within an old MI mental hospital as well as a vacant four-story, WA brew house. A teaching artist with a focus in working with disenfranchised communities and cultures, Megan was invited as a resident artist to the Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Cholula, Mexico. As a member of the Prison Creative Arts Project, she has lead theater and creative writing workshops within the prisons and inner city high schools in Detroit, MI. Recently, Megan has returned to the US after a six-month artistic residency in Guatemala. Megan’s most recent work has been presented at The OK Hotel in Seattle, WA and at The Soap Factory here in Minneapolis, and she will be presenting a new performance work for 9×22 Dance Lab at Bryant Lake Bowl this May.