Whitewashed is a publication about the growth in popularity of residential swimming pools in America and how this privatisation is deep-rooted in racism.
Throughout history the swimming pool has often been viewe as a symbol of the American Dream. However, the romanticized 20th century images we see of swimming pools are often presented in a ‘rose tinted’ manner.
During the mid 20th century, the United States was segregated and African American people – along with many other things – were not allowed to swim in many municipal pools, if they choose to, they were met with extreme violence.
During the civil rights era there were prominent cases of violence surrounded pools, but as you would expect this is an unknown history. Furthermore, there has been a lasting impact from this segregation, with statistics showing an 11 year old black child is 10 times more likely to drown than a white child in America.
Whitewashed aims to inform the reader of this history and how racial discrimination was one of the motives behind the nationwide popularisation of the private pool in America. The book is decorated with the bright colourful images of pool postcards and photography, that dissolve when placed in water while the information regarding the racial tensions surrounding pools that is largely unknown is displayed on waterproof paper.
The idea behind this is that the reader would place the book in water the rose tinted history that has been told to us dissolves and leaves you with the truth that has been erased.