This conversation explores the history, form, and process behind the creation of the powerful new Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia. The grounds—designed by Thomas Jefferson and now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site—were built and maintained by 4000 enslaved men, women, and children. The memorial features marks and the names of these individuals carved into granite. It was designed with input from their descendants and Charlottesville community members, turning “grief for a hidden past into a healing space,” according to the New York Times.
Gregg Bleam, Gregg Bleam Landscape Architect
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
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
Co-presented by Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Columbia University School of the Arts; Committee on Global Thought; Cornell AAP | Architecture, Art, Planning; the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Research in African-American Studies; the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center; The Studio Museum in Harlem; and the Queens Museum.
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