We Fight to Build a Free World: Contested Monuments

YouTube Video Premiere


Thursday, November 19, 2020
6:30 – 7:30 pm

The Unite the Right rally of August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia galvanized a national conversation about the removal of Confederate monuments that has since intensified. Many more statues and figures have been the subject of public debate in recent months, as the violent histories of colonialism continue to be called into question. In conjunction with We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz, Darsie Alexander, Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator, moderates a discussion on the past and future of this topic with architect Mabel O. Wilson and artists Nicholas Galanin and Kris Graves.

About the speakers:

Mabel O. Wilson, is the Nancy and George Rupp Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, a Professor of African American and African Diasporic Studies, and the Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University. Through her transdisciplinary practice Studio &, Professor Wilson makes visible and legible the ways that anti-black racism shapes the built environment along with the ways that blackness creates spaces of imagination, refusal and desire. Her research investigates space, politics and cultural memory in black America; race and modern architecture; new technologies and the social production of space; and visual culture in contemporary art, media and film. ] 

Kris Graves is an artist and publisher based in New York and London. Graves creates photographs of landscapes and people to preserve memory. He also works to elevate the representation of people of color in the fine art canon; and to create opportunities for conversation about race, representation, and urban life. He received his BFA in Visual Arts from SUNY Purchase College and has been published and exhibited globally, including at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England; Aperture Gallery, New York; University of Arizona, and his work is in the permanent collections include the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Brooklyn Museum, New York; and The Wedge Collection, Toronto. 

Nicholas Galanin’s (Tlingit/Unangax) work offers perspective rooted in connection to land and broad engagement with contemporary culture. For over a decade, Galanin has been embedding incisive observation into his work, investigating and expanding intersections of culture and concept in form, image, and sound. He engages past, present and future – through two and three dimensional works and time-based media – exposing obscured collective memory and barriers to the acquisition of knowledge. Galanin apprenticed with master carvers and jewellers, earned his BFA at London Guildhall University in Jewellery Design and his MFA in Indigenous Visual Arts at Massey University in New Zealand. He lives and works with his family in Sitka, Alaska.

Free with RSVP, YouTube link sent with RSVP email confirmation.

While this program is presented free, the optional purchase of a ticket helps support public programs at the Jewish Museum. We appreciate your support.

Installation view of "We Fight to Build a Free World: An Exhibition by Jonathan Horowitz" October 1, 2020 - January 24, 2021, at the Jewish Museum, NY. Photo: Kris Graves