What can a marketing campaign against advertising teach us about how we design and interact with public spaces? Guest Contributor R.J Rushmore, co-curator of Art in Ad Places, writes on how his project pushes us to reimagine the spaces we occupy.
How can community based direct action create change when institutions and conventional power structures fail? Take Action Chapel Hill at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill shares their activist’s guide for action (available to download now).
Born and raised in East Los Angeles, Monument Lab Fellow Joel Garcia has seen the city change for better or for worse by means of political movements, violence, housing development, and erasure of narratives, among countless other things. His experiences have shaped his relation to land, place, and memory and the lack of access to it. In this essay, he writes on how public areas can be transformed from spaces of trauma to ones of healing and the importance of advocating for oneself.
Philadelphia-based artist Shelley Spector recounts her experience of seeing the Patti Smith Horses album cover for the first time at the Neshaminy Mall. This is a story about authenticity, symbols, and how seemingly small moments can have profound and everlasting meaning.
The Crossbones Graveyard is a paupers’ gravesite located in South London. Prior to the 1990s, this burial site was unmarked and those buried here largely forgotten. Since its rediscovery, the local community has rallied together to honor those buried there. How can this site give insight to the individual narrative in monuments and memorials and how we choose to remember those that have passed?
The waving of the Confederate Truce Flag, a linen dish towel, signaled the end of the U.S. Civil War and signified the promise of Black freedom. Yet, by 1877, this symbol and what it represents had largely been forgotten. What can this seemingly simple piece of fabric tell us of a failed promise of reconciliation and of a truce and peace we are still seeking?
In this essay, Laurel V. McLaughlin writes on Olu Oguibe’s Monument for Strangers and Refugees and examines how its erection, inscription, and eventual removal parallels a larger political and historical discussion. (Photo by Mathias Voelzke for documenta)
This essay is taken from the publication for Molly Crabapple & Marwan Hisham: Syria in Ink opening March 22 at Haverford College's Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. Molly Crabapple & Marwan Hisham: Syria in Ink brings together literature in the form of memoir and visual art in the form of ink drawings. It invites viewers to experience the words and images of a young Syrian coming of age during the turbulent last decade.
In her final installment of her three-part series, Monument Lab Graduate Student Researcher Hilary Malson discusses how counter-narratives are documented all around us if we just stop and look
Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Monument Lab Paul Farber writes on how the removal of a Confederate monument in Memphis Park is only the beginning in the retelling of a history and remediation of a site
Global Voices Advocacy Director Ellery Roberts Biddle examines how technologists are fighting to show the reality of war in an era of social media censorship. Written as part of a partnership between Global Voices and Monument Lab.
The “Silent Sam Syllabus,” designed by Graduate Student Researcher Evander Price (American History at Harvard), is intended to teach Confederate monumentality by examining the events at UNC Chapel Hill. This syllabus will continue to evolve as events and history unfold. We encourage readers to submit their own suggestions, ideas, etc. with the intent of improving the syllabus.
In her second installment of her three-part-series, "Contested Memory," Monument Lab Graduate Researcher Hilary Malson (UCLA Urban Planning, PhD Student) delves into how archival fragments, historical fiction, and a search of the past can shed light on narratives of place and knowing that have been absent from recorded history, but were always present.
In his latest piece, Monument Lab Graduate Student Researcher Evander Price examines the historic significance of Silent Sam and why its removal from UNC Chapel Hill's campus is profoundly important.
Monument Lab is proud to announce our inaugural cohort of fellows. Chosen through a national open call, these civic practitioners and youth fellows confront the inequity and injustice in our nation’s monuments and provide bold, creative approaches to public art, history, and memory. Some of the fellows have been working toward these ends for decades. Others began only recently, but have already made impressive, vital contributions. Together, they represent a new guard who are radically redefining what it means to engage public spaces, sites of history, and monuments today.
“Syncopation” is the first essay in a three-part series by Monument Lab Graduate Researcher Hilary Malson in which she seeks to engage with work from theorists on contested memory and diasporic black geographies. In this piece, Malson examines silence as an action in the production of history.
Next year, 2019, will mark an ignominious anniversary in China. Thirty years will have passed since the violent crackdown of student protesters on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Co-Curator Ken Lum examines the most important aesthetic edifice relating to the events of Tiananmen Square: the Monument to the People’s Heroes, often overlooked by non-Chinese viewers despite its centrality to the events of 1989.
Monument Lab Graduate Researcher Evander Price unpacks the arguments invented by Confederate monument apologists to justify some degree of compromise other than outright removal. He explores how these justifications celebrate a pernicious fictional alternate history.
In our national conversation on the power that Confederate monuments hold in public memory, there is one dynamic discussion that has fallen off the radar. How are we facing the void of black monuments? Monument Lab Graduate Researcher Hilary Malson explores Black geographies and the question of Monuments.
San Francisco’s Sister City relationship with Osaka was terminated over a statue dedicated to “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during World War II. Patricia Eunji Kim writes on San Francisco’s "Column of Strength," dedicated by the Comfort Women Justice Coalition, as a site of transnational #MeToo.
Welcoming our 2018-2019 Monument Lab Graduate Student Researchers. Hilary Malson is a student of geography and urban planning in the Urban Planning PhD program at UCLA. Evander Price is a PhD candidate in American Studies at Harvard University. His dissertation research proposes a new category of monumentality, the “future monument.”
“The significance of monuments is larger than their present physical narratives in our daily lives. It’s about who controls the narrative,” writes guest contributor Glenn Cantave, founder of Movers & Shakers NYC.
The story of Edward VII’s statue is also a story of the divides within the British Empire itself. While the statue may seem to represent a benign part of a picture-perfect scene in Toronto’s most important historical park, it is vital to look in the shadows of this statue and think about all that lies beneath. Edward VII’s equestrian statue tramples the ground on which it stands in the center of Queen’s Park.
We are in the midst of a reckoning over our inherited monuments. Join us for the next phase of Monument Lab as we build a nationwide platform for researching, understanding, and talking about the past, present, and future of monuments.
What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? Last year, over 250,000 Philadelphians and visitors engaged this question in a citywide exhibition. The lab teams collected over 4,500 proposals from public participants and passersby. The proposals offer a stunning, unprecedented glimpse into the historical imagination of Philadelphians. The Report to the City offers a reading and reflection on the immense creativity and critical energies by public participants.
A national fellows program and media platform to support dialogue and action about the changing monumental landscape of the United States.
Encouraging public input on new forms of historical monuments through a digital tool that allows users to identify locations, topics and create designs for potential public art and monuments in our cities.