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Memorial to Enslaved Laborers | Online Conversation

Visitors at the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers.
Photo: Alan Karchmer. Courtesy: Höweler + Yoon Architecture. 

Oct 8, 2020
6:30pm

Zoom Webinar

Conversations & Screenings, Watch & Listen 2020

The Studio Museum in Harlem is proud to co-present a digital conversation on the powerful newly-built Memorial To Enslaved Laborers alongside Columbia University and six partnering institutions and organizations.

This conversation explores the history, form, and process behind creating the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia. The grounds—designed by President Thomas Jefferson and now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site—were built and maintained by 4,000 enslaved men, women, and children. The memorial features marks and names of these individuals carved into granite. According to the New York Times, the monument was designed with input from the descendants of those enslaved and Charlottesville community members, turning “grief for a hidden past into a healing space.”

Memorial to Enslaved Laborers Video

Speakers
Gregg Bleam, Gregg Bleam Landscape Architect
E. Franklin Dukes, Institute for Environmental Negotiation, University of Virginia 
Eric Höweler, Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Höweler + Yoon
Eto Otitigbe, Department of Art, Brooklyn College
Diane Brown Townes, Charlottesville community member
Mabel O. Wilson, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies
J. Meejin Yoon, Cornell AAP | Architecture, Art, Planning and Höweler + Yoon         

Introduced and moderated by Farah Jasmine Griffin, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Columbia University 

Additional Resources

Learn about artists, artworks and organizations that are challenging and reimagining the history and role of monuments and public sculptures.          

Exhibitions

Chloë Bass: Wayfinding

Sep 28, 2019Sep 27, 2020

Maren Hassinger

Jun 16, 2018Jun 10, 2019

inHarlem: Kevin Beasley

Aug 25, 2016Jul 25, 2017

1 / 3

Chloë Bass: Wayfinding

Sep 28, 2019Sep 27, 2020

2 / 3

Maren Hassinger

Jun 16, 2018Jun 10, 2019

3 / 3

inHarlem: Kevin Beasley

Aug 25, 2016Jul 25, 2017

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Organizations

Ex-Situ: On Moving Monuments

Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Artists Responses

Kehinde Wiley’s Anti-Confederate MemorialKehinde Wiley’s “Rumors of War,” which was recently installed in Richmond, Virginia, mimics Confederate monuments that were erected in the city during the rise of Jim Crow. 

'We ignore the power of symbols at our peril' - architect David Adjaye on why racist monuments must be replaced Racist statues are falling, exposing the relationship between symbols and the built environment with systems of injustice.

As the UK Seeks to Diversify Its Public Sculptures, London Unveils a New Monument to the Black ‘Everywoman’ . Sculptor Thomas J Price says there are only two other sculptures depicting Black women in the city.

Kara Walker's Fons AmericanusDelve deeper into 2019's Hyundai Commission by Kara Walker, a large-scale public sculpture in the form of a four-tiered fountain. Fons Americanus questions how we remember history in our public monuments.

Not an Elegy for Mike Brown. Danez Smith's poetry. 

Natasha Trethewey: Monument. Throughout the collection winds the poet’s family history of trauma and loss, resilience and love—in terms that have helped us change the very foundation of the vocabulary we use to speak about race, gender, and our collective future.

Simone Leigh Brick HouseThis is the first monumental sculpture in Leigh’s Anatomy of Architecture series, an ongoing body of work in which the artist combines architectural forms from regions as varied as West Africa and the Southern United States with the human body. 

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