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 visions, 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. Modeled on the work of Philadelphia’s Monuments Lab, 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?
Paper Monuments has hosted various events and workshops. Stories at the Crossroads, pictured here, featured storytellers, poets, musicians and activists, who shared their words on the steps of an empty pedestal. Artists have battled at out Story Board events, people from all over the city came together for History Unbound at the New Orleans Public Library.
the paper trail
The Paper Trail is our newspaper, which we distribute at businesses all around the city. The newspaper and blog feature new posters, various public proposals, and our latest events and installations.
The movement to remove confederate monuments throughout the city of New Orleans, led by the Take Em' Down NOLA Coalition, has revealed deep-seated divisions in our communities and 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 view a community-driven, participatory process for the redevelopment of these sites and for the expansion of public art in public spaces throughout New Orleans as a critical means to continue and expand those conversations, and to ensure that when future generations question the intentions behind and the purpose of future monuments, the answers are ones of which they can be proud.