Monument Lab presents The Stories We Tell, a film series that illuminates undertold histories of the American Revolution, as part of a long-term partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey Historical Commission.
Informed by a larger collaborative Artistic Research Residency with New Jersey-based artists, educators, and historians convened by Monument Lab in Summer 2020, this series explores the process of history making, decontextualization and historical erasure as it manifests at sites associated with the American Revolution.
Our collaborators approached commemorating the Revolutionary period through unearthing the legacies of Black and Indigenous historical figures and places, interrogating the motivations of previous generations of formal and informal storytellers, and making connections to contemporary revolutionary movements. In each video in the series, the featured participants explore the question: What would a fuller and transformative history of this place require? In each video in the series, the featured participants examine the processes of history making, memory keeping, erasure, and restoration.
The first installment of The Stories We Tell series includes:
- Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills on Black “Marbleheaders'' at Washington’s Crossing, focusing on the multiracial Massachusetts militia regiment who enabled General Washington's historic journey across the Delaware River.
- Tyrese "Bright Flower" Gould Jacinto on the legacy and endurance of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape people along the Cohansey River, countering generations of theft and bureaucratic management, by reframing land and water as integral parts of the Lenape to shed light on the rivers’ past, present, and future.
- Layqa Nuna Yawar in Newark’s Military Park, on reimagining the numerous stories of conflict, consequence, and resistance, often obscured by conventional monuments and memorials, through innovative approaches to public memory.
The Stories We Tell was created with support from Revolution NJ, New Jersey’s commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States.