Mapping Soulville

In 2013, The Laundromat Project commissioned artist Aisha Cousins to create 3 remixes of  a score called Mapping Soulville as part of their Create Change Public Artist in Residence program.  BedStuy residents tested these remixes and gave feedback on them every Thursday & Friday evening that August at Marmy Laundromat  on Malcolm X Blvd in Brooklyn. See below for photos, video, and resources you can use to do the remixes in your area.



You will need:line break white 600 x 1 pixels

  • names of black historical figures
  • streets, street signs, or a map

line break white 600 x 1 pixels

Instructions: Make a map of Soulville

line break white 600 x 1 pixels

Black culture or history topic: Streets renamed for black historical figures. Search for a copy of “Along Martin Luther King: Travels on Black America’s Mainstreet” at your local library click here.

line break white 600 x 1 pixels

If you like this score, check out these contemporary artists: Jay Shells, REPOhistory



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you could name a street after an important historical figure from your culture, who would you choose? Cousins worked with her neighbors to answer this question using a Make-Your-Own-Street-Sign Photobooth. Then she complied their answers into the map below. You can do it yourself with a wood slat, chalkboard paint, and this handy activity sheet. 


Malcolm X blvd Remix 2 collageTo get started, you’ll need to identify a few Malcolm X streets. Cousins helped her neighbors visualize their list by making a tape mural of them. Above is an example. In it, each line represents the shape of a different street that has been renamed for Malcolm X. To make it, Cousins gave each of her neighbors a map of a street that had been renamed for Malcolm X. Then they added a line in the shape of their street to the mural. Once they had added the basic shape of the street, people decorated them using pieces of cut tape, so that each street looked different from the others. You can make your own mural using these street maps, tape, scissors, and your imagination.Mapping Soulville_postcards from one Malcolm X Blvd to another consolidated picOnce you have an image of all the streets, ask people to help you connect them by sending things from one Malcolm X street to another. For example, Cousins took her mural up to Malcolm X Blvd in Harlem, then she asked people to send messages from Harlem’s Malcolm X Blvd to another street on the mural.You can see a copy of the flier from Cousins’ talk, including a list of Malcolm X streets, below.Creative Time Summit Sundays _Tour handout _Aisha Cousins_Mapping Soulville_The Laundromat Projec



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For this remix, Cousins asked her neighbors in BedStuy to imagine what Malcolm X Blvd would look like if all its cross streets worked together to form a walkable timeline of Malcolm X’s life. Each week, she did a different hands-on art activity designed to help brainstorm names for these cross streets. Missed the events? No worries, try brainstorming your own cross street names using this handy activity sheet

Mapping Soulville_ compiled Map for Remix 3


Technically, the Create Change Residency ended October 19th, 2013. Cousins and her neighbors really liked using Malcolm X Blvd as a place to teach kids about Malcolm’s story though. So, in 2014, they came up with a project where local children raised butterflies as a metaphor for Malcolm X’s evolution, then released them on Malcolm X Blvd for his birthday. To read more about it click here.


Mapping Soulville is sponsored by The Laundromat Project’s 2013 Create Change Public Artist in Residence Program, Gather Brooklyn, Marmy Laundromat, Ancient Song Doula Services, Atell Hardware, BreadLoveBrooklyn Public Library’s African American Heritage Center, Puzzles For Us & awesome individuals like you! Visit and click the orange link to donate today.
the laundromat project logo GATHER_BK_web

One thought on “Mapping Soulville

  1. Pingback: Mapping Soulville | SAY IT LOUD! Educators Guide

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s