Chicago Distribution Center
Univ of Washington Pr
In the late 1990s, Vancouver's Downtown Eastside became the setting for three monuments – Crab Park Boulder, Marker of Change, and Standing with Courage, Strength and Pride. The monuments were grassroots initiatives that challenged the norms of civic art by claiming a place in public space for society's most vulnerable groups, and each figured in debates about many kinds of violence. Emphasizing the resilience and agency of artists, activists, and residents, this vivid account of the creation of memory-scapes offers unique insights into the links between power, public space, and social memory. It asks us to reconsider what constitutes public art that will “speak for a long time.”
In the late 1990s, three monuments - Crab Park Boulder, Marker of Change and Standing with Courage, Strength and Pride - were built in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Located within a few city blocks of one another, the monuments were grassroots initiatives that challenged the norms of civic art by claiming a place in public space for society’s more vulnerable groups, and each figured in debates about many kinds of violence.
Speaking for a Long Time offers unique insights into the creation of memorials and the multiple, often contested meanings that can be attached to them in local communities. Part 1, "Act," explores the monuments’ origin stories and highlights the distinctive perspectives of their founders. Part 2, "Frame," places these narratives in the context of modern debates and theories on public space and social memory. Part 3, "Forge," returns to the Downtown Eastside to show how the resilience and agency of grassroots activists can give the socially marginalized a visible presence in our urban landscapes.
This vivid account of the creation of memory-scapes in a marginalized community asks us to reconsider what constitutes public art that will "speak for a long time." It will appeal not only to students and scholars of sociology, geography, anthropology, and BC history but also to artists, activists, and community planners.Book News
In a time of shattering identities along a myriad of personal characteristics and official apologies for past genocide and other collective sins, asks Burk (sociology and anthropology, Simon Fraser U.), how does a community decide what from the past to celebrate, and how to do so in a meaningful way. As a geographer, he was drawn to pursue the question along empirical paths, and came upon a motherlode in the spring of 1996 in Vancouver, British Columbia. It seems that a monument had been conceptualized, funded, designed, argued about, and even sited in city plans, but remained unbuilt. Here, he says, was a monument that existed robustly in imaginative and representational domains, but was blocked from the physical domain. It was built seven years later, and he accompanied it through that process, watching all the players. Distributed in the US by UTP Distribution. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)