[Photojournalism] “A glitch in the matrix” [by Shae McCoy]

Photo taken by Shae McCoy

I didn’t think that a mistake would turn into something complex. Here I am walking up my block on my way to see my nutritionist, and I notice that these half built apartment buildings that have been haunting my neighborhood for the past year are closer to being finished. If you can recall, last May I wrote an article about the overhaul that is currently taking place in my neighborhood. For those who don’t know, I live in what’s now called the “Poppleton Neighborhood,” located in West Baltimore.

I stood in the center of West Lexington and Amity streets with my phone in hand. My intentions were to capture the progression of this overhaul. Last year around this time, building was just beginning. As I went to change my settings to capture a panorama, people were walking by me. I captured a panorama and went to look at it. It didn’t save like it usually does. The picture above was the result, and I was just thinking:

It would be cool to post this and show people that photography is best when mistakes happen.

I did exactly that and the reactions I received were unexpected. I didn’t realize how symbolic my photo was until I looked at it a few times and read the comments from my peers. The way that the man is captured is quite peculiar. It’s as if he is walking into the matrix or some type of time warp. Once I sat and analyzed my photo I realized it has a direct connection with gentrification and what it means for the black people who make up about 95 percent of the neighborhood.

Imagine living in a neighborhood for many years only to be told you have to relocate due to the building of new homes and the demolition of yours. This picture perfectly explains what will happen to this neighborhood and many other neighborhoods around the city. The existence of black residents will become obsolete. Blacks will become a glitch in the matrix.