Podcast: The Monumental Project
By Monuments Toolkit
By Monuments Toolkit
As the official companion podcast of the Monuments Toolkit program, we will be deep diving into the pieces of American history found across the nation and how the stories they carry impact the modern day American citizen. The goal of this podcast – and the program at large – is to address the question: how do we address monuments of oppression? What are our options for dealing with painful pieces of our past? How can we learn, heal, and move forward? The aim of the season is to answer these questions while providing listeners with a thought-provoking and engaging experience.
Welcome to The Monumental Project: How Historic Sites and Monuments of Yesterday Affect Us Today. As the official companion podcast of the Monuments Toolkit program, we will be diving deep into the pieces of American history found across the nation, and how the stories they carry impact the modern day American citizen. The goal of this podcast and the program at large, is to address the question “how do we address monuments of oppression?” What are our options for dealing with painful pieces of our past? How can we learn, heal, and move forward? By the end of this season we’ll have a better understanding.
Up to this point, the Monuments Toolkit has sat down with leaders in the academic community, activism community and even politics to gather different approaches to the conversation around monuments of oppression. This month we’ll be speaking to an organization in the artistic community for a different point of view.
To many, these monuments are nothing more than representations of dark times in our nation's history. But in the artistic space, these pieces are symbols, that can be conduits for deeper conversations around the lost cause theory, reparations, and how we heal. One art center that is tackling this issue with fearlessness and grace is LAXART, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit visual art space that promotes developments in contemporary culture through exhibitions, publications, and public programs. Their upcoming exhibition titled “MONUMENTS” will feature decommissioned Confederate monuments displayed alongside existing and newly commissioned works of contemporary art.
The Monumental Project had the pleasure of speaking with Hamza Walker and Hannah Burnstein, the creative director and program manager of this groundbreaking and timely exhibit.
Hamza Walker is the director of the Los Angeles nonprofit art space LAXART and an adjunct professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to joining LAXART in 2016, he was director of education and associate curator at the Renaissance Society, a non-collecting contemporary art museum in Chicago, for 22 years where he organized numerous shows and public programming and wrote extensively on the field of contemporary art. Hannah Burstein is an arts researcher, educator, and public programmer based in Los Angeles. She is currently the Project Manager at LAXART. We hope you enjoy the conversation!