What is an appropriate monument to our city today?
Paper Monuments is a series of opportunities, events, and interventions designed to elevate the voices of the people of New Orleans, as a critical process to creating symbols of our city that represent our collective vision, and to honor the erased histories of the people, events, movements, and places that have made up the past 300 years as we look to the future. Paper Monuments combines public pedagogy and participatory design to expand our collective understanding of New Orleans, and asks our citizens to answer the question: What is an appropriate monument to our city today?
In case you weren't able to join us at Stories at the Crossroads, filmmaker Luisa Dantas beautifully captured the spirit of the event in the first of many videos documenting the process behind Paper Monuments.
We want to give a huge shoutout to the storytellers who spoke their monuments that night, including Sunni Patterson, Nic Aziz, John Hankins, Rebecca Snedeker, Phoebe Ferguson, and Tilman Hardy, as well as our awesome MC, Chris Lane.
This video is part of Surdna Foundation's ongoing video series on community engaged design. Paper Monuments is made possible through the generous support of the Surdna Foundation.
The removal of the Reconstruction-Era monuments has revealed deep-seated divisions in our communities, but it has also sparked important conversations: about the ties between symbols and systems, the links between the present and the past, the differences in how we experience our built environment, and what stories we tell and remember.
We are initiating a community-driven, participatory process for the redevelopment of New Orleans land-marking as a critical means to continue and expand conversations, and to ensure that when future generations question the intentions behind and the purpose of a permanent installation in this city, the answers are ones of which they can be proud.
This project will reflect the voices of the community through events, actions, public interventions, and online discussion. We ask that you join us in shaping the future of monuments throughout the city by communing for monthly events, canvassing actions, public build session, community forums and more.