7. Rikers Island Appears and Disappears on MTA Maps

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If you compare a few different versions of New York City transit maps, you may notice that Rikers Island is either included or excluded on them; it’s pretty inconsistent and we’ve documented maps dating back to 1939 as proof.

Our article was part of the inspiration for #SeeRikers!,” a 2016 guerrilla campaign by graduate students in the Design Studies program at Parsons the New School for Design. As part of the project, clear stickers, printed with “RIKERS IS HERE,” were handed out to the public and placed on existing maps to highlight the Island. According to students, Estefanía Acosta de la Peña, Laura Sánchez, and Misha Volf, its absence on transit maps is “emblematic of a broader cultural willingness to overlook the places, policies, and practices that support the systemic violence of mass incarceration.”