What does peace look like in Newark, New Jersey? Monument Lab’s assistant curator Alliyah Allen tells the story of peace through Newark’s artists that chose to interpret seemingly mundane yet deeply human moments.
A Call to Peace, a public art exhibition, invited four artists — Manuel Acevedo, Chakaia Booker, Sonya Clark, and Jamel Shabazz — all artists known for their innovative approaches to art and social justice to create temporary prototype monuments that seek to answer the question: what is a timely monument for Newark, New Jersey?
What would a timely monument for Newark, New Jersey be today? Guest contributor Mark Krasovic examines this question by looking at one of Newark’s most prominent statues, Wars of America.
In June 2019, Monument Lab held its first Town Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This event brought together the inaugural cohort of Monument Lab Fellows, artists, activists, and the public for a daylong event centered around the question: Who decides the fate of public space?
What is commemorative justice? Monument Lab Fellow Free Egunfemi, share how her work in Virginia helped her to coin the term and how others can practice commemorative justice
What would monuments to Black women look like if they were personal, communally accessible, and tangible? Monument Youth Fellow Kanyinsola Anifowoshe seeks to address this question through her series of workshops
When Everything and All We Got is Each Other, Our Side Eye Turned Protest and Our Best Recollection
How can performance art raise awareness of the public history of slavery and contemporary issues of justice? Monument Lab Fellow Arielle Brown delves into how her project, Black Spatial Relics, and the artists it engages use their work to do just this
Monument Lab Youth Fellow Zyahna Bryant delves into the importance of community organizing and how this can be used to reclaim space and narratives.
Monument Lab Youth Fellow Aliyah Young discusses the importance of self-care, healing, and visibility through her activist work surrounding Rekia Boyd.
Monument Lab Fellow Cheyenne Concepcion offers a window into The Borderland Archive, an ongoing project she began as an attempt at understanding and cataloging the spatial conditions negotiated by borders.
How does an architect design the sacred? How does one represent inspiration in form? How does one prepare a place for enlightenment to occur? Graduate Researcher Evander Price explores how Louis Kahn answered these questions with his design of the Salk Institute in San Diego—a secular, sacred space in which he manifested metaphors of inspiration in monumentality.
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.