Imagine a monument to New Orleans.
Paper Monuments is a public art and public history project designed to elevate the voices of the people of New Orleans, as a critical process towards creating new narratives and symbols of our city that represent our collective vision, and to honor the erased histories of the people, places, movements, and events that have made up the past 300 years as we look to the future.
The core values of Paper Monuments are equity, integrity, and collaboration. We envision the role of our team as coordinating the efforts and supporting the visions of a broad collective of residents, scholars, artists, and activists.
In centering equity, we have set an honorarium for artwork that recognizes the value of our local visual artists, often overlooked in discussions of New Orleans' cultural economy and we are working to ensure that both the content and the creators of all our pieces reflect the diverse populations of our city.
In centering integrity, we have committed to honor all public proposal submissions, and to include them in archives and maps, knowing that some may be offensive or abusive. We have provided opportunity for all community members to speak at our events to date, and will continue to do so throughout our process.
In centering collaboration, we have built relationships with small business owners throughout the city to distribute posters while helping to drive new customers to their stores. We have partnered with public institutions such as the University of New Orleans and the New Orleans Public Library to provide research and archival support locally, and are part of an emerging cohort of organizations and projects across the country working to reconsider the role of public art and public history in our cities.
Colloqate Design/Paper Monuments Co-Directors:
Bryan C. Lee Jr.
Paper Monuments Core Team
Nic Brierre Aziz
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.