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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Arts + Action | Racial Justice
Paper Monuments : History Unbound
Paper Monuments is a series of opportunities, events, and interventions that combines public pedagogy and participatory design to expand our collective understanding of New Orleans and answer the grounding question: What is an appropriate monument to the city of New Orleans today?
[ Audio: Twenty minutes and one second ]
On December 10th, 2017, Paper Monuments hosted History Unbound at the New Orleans Public Library, where folks could stop in on a Saturday afternoon to learn some fascinating New Orleans history and answer Paper Monument’s overarching question: What is an appropriate monument to the city of New Orleans today?
Records from Ellis Marsallis’ personal collection spun on the record player. Colored pencils and collaging materials lined long tables. Public Proposal forms were placed at each seat so that attendees could share their ideas for what and where monuments in New Orleans should be.
Paper Monument posters -featuring people like Dorothy Mae Taylor and stories like the funeral of André Calloux, the sit-in at McCrory’s, and the enslaved people’s uprising of 1811- were available for the looking and the taking. Artists Henry Lipkis and Langston Allston stood outside their box truck gallery parked and pulled open on Loyola Ave., depicting imagery from the myth of Bras-Coupé.
To round out the afternoon, two young scholars of Homar Plessy Community School shared poems from their work with Big Class’ writing program. You can find their poems in print in the book Courageous, Eccentric, Diverse: New Monuments for New Orleans.
Finally, I followed up with Paper Monument team member and lead graph designer Shoshana Gordon to talk about their open call #3 for poster designs. Although the open call is now closed, keep an eye out for Paper monument’s free newspaper to stay afloat all things Paper Monuments.