Mapping Monuments: A Monument Lab Project
Recorded On: 11/18/2020
About this Webinar
November 18, 2020 at 3:00 PM ET
Monument Lab is a public art and history studio based in Philadelphia that works with artists, students, educators, activists, municipal agencies, and cultural institutions on participatory approaches to public engagement and collective memory. Monument Lab critically engages our inherited symbols in order to unearth the next generation of monuments that elevate stories of resistance and hope. In Monument Lab’s recent collaboration with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and other St. Louis-area collaborators, Public Iconographies, the studio wanted to locate monuments in the city’s imagined, remembered, and idealized landscapes. They formed a collaborative team, who collected 750 hand-drawn maps from public participants featuring over 1,000 places across the region.
Through these maps, Monument Lab encountered St. Louis as a city defined by both traditional monuments and unofficial sites of memory, and resulted in a final dataset and publication aimed at unfixing entrenched mythologies and dividing lines of St. Louis to reconstitute power, place, and memory. Join Monument Lab’s Laurie Allen and Allison Nkwocha, to discuss the ways maps, monuments, and participatory data projects can illuminate historically-informed research and future building projects.
Participants will learn about:
- Shaping public engagement projects through participatory methods
- Building pathways for collecting, analyzing, and expressing cultural data
- Utilizing mapping as a platform for share and understand local knowledge, history, and networks of justice
Director of Research, Monument Lab
Laurie Allen is a Philadelphian and was the founding research director at Monument Lab. She has worked as a librarian for 20 years, with a longstanding interest in the ways that cultural memory and civic data are used by and for (and sometimes against) people in cities. She worked in academic libraries for many years, most recently as the Director of Digital Scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania, and her current day job is as a Program Analyst in the office of Digital Strategy at the Library of Congress.
Graduate Researcher, Monument Lab
Allison is from California's central coast and graduated from Scripps College with a degree in Environmental Analysis in 2013. Her professional background is in architectural salvage and historic restoration. Prior to beginning her graduate studies at Penn, Allison was working as a carpenter and building tiny houses with teenagers at a Seattle youth design-build nonprofit. In her graduate work in Landscape Architecture and Historic Preservation, she focuses on the intersection of Black American landscapes and memory.
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