• Queen of the Swamp: The Saltwater Railroad
    Sydney Rose Maubert

Sydney Rose Maubert, “Queen of the Swamp: Poe Lil Rich Girl,” 2023 (Installation view Green Space, Miami). Digital photograph. Photo: Melody Timothee

Queen of the Swamp analyzes the aesthetic legacies of the Saltwater Railroad to consider the performative challenges of racialized gender in the built environment. Using writing to inform installations, drawings, and large-scale murals, the work renders Black women’s rhetorical knowledge in the American South and the Caribbean as architectural ideas. Drawing on the material contributions of the Black diaspora throughout the Caribbean and the American South, the project explores the relationship between knowledge production by Black women and the built environment. This encourages recognition of how architecture is socially produced and how racist-sexual displacement is legible in the built environment, but also how material architecture can signify emancipatory ideas. The project considers what possibilities emerge at the intersection of architecture, Black studies, and gender studies. Ultimately, this research explores how the foundational aesthetics of the past gave rise to our contemporary Black aesthetic traditions that emerged in its wake.

Sydney Rose Maubert is an artist, architect, and professor. She uses painting as a tool for architectural storytelling. She holds degrees in architecture from Yale University and the University of Miami, with double minors in writing and art. Her research interests are architecture, geography, and cultural production in the Caribbean and American South. Informed by her Haitian-Cuban heritage, her practice explores racial-sexual perception in the built environment. Maubert is the inaugural Strauch Early Career Fellow through The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP) at Cornell University. She has received several awards, including the Miami-Dade County Department for Cultural Affairs, Cornell Council for the Arts Award, Yale Moulton Andros Award, and University of Miami Alpha Rho Chi Award. She has assisted in teaching courses at Yale University, Morgan State University, City College of New York, and the University of Miami. She is the June 2023 Artist in Residence at the Everglades (AIRIE).