Month: January 2018

How America remembers: An Introduction

The Memorial Project is a photographic history of American memorial practice since 1865. Using film photography to document monuments, artifacts, and spaces of collective and official public memory, the project aims to interrogate “how America remembers.” It is a voyage of discovery through narratives of the past, to significant events of national and community trauma, and to processes of healing and reconciliation. He came down the stairs on the right: a man in his late-60s, or early 70s, walking slowly, with a slight stoop. He passed along the long stone slab bearing the names of the fallen from right to left,...

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The (Sort of) End of Chief Wahoo

The Cleveland baseball team took a positive step this week.  It announced on Monday that it was going to remove the deeply offensive Chief Wahoo from its caps and jerseys for the 2019 season.  This is an important start.  Chief Wahoo is an offensive caricature of an indigenous chief, drawn in a cartoonish, stereotypical manner. Note that not only is he grinning, he is actually red.  Like, you know, ‘redskin’.  (The Washington football team is a whole other problem, for another day). Chief Wahoo. Chief Wahoo has a long genesis.  The Cleveland baseball team was originally founded in Grand...

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Glen Hansard: Between Two Shores

Glen Hansard Between Two Shores Anti- Glen Hansard is a rock’n’roll veteran.  He’s the frontman of legendary Dublin band, The Frames.  It’s odd, Dublin.  The largest rock band in the world is from there (U2, in case you were wondering) and yet, their impact on the Dublin scene in terms of bands making it is minimal.  They tried for awhile, running Mother Records, signing, amongst others, Hothouse Flowers.  The Flowers still hold the distinction for the biggest-selling début album by an Irish band for their 1988 album, People.  Anyway, The Frames are huge in Dublin, and have achieved some international...

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Jewish Tourism, or, I never cared very much for the Holocaust – Part I

I never cared very much for the Holocaust. As a child born shortly after the war, I grew up barraged by sordid black-and-white images and film footage of the piled-up, naked bodies of Jews, heaps of gold teeth, lamps made from their skin. These emaciated, striped-suited people in concentration camps seemed abject. I knew they were Jews, but they didn’t at all seem like me, my family, and my Jewish friends living in the Bronx. They weren’t Jews really to me; they were haunting images with scary eyes and belonged more in the B-horror movies I watched in my...

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Notes from a Recent Construction Site Visit

La Borda’s north-facing street façade. The double-height communal space will eventually be enclosed with polycarbonate to form an intermediate climate zone in conjunction with a central atrium. I was recently fortunate enough to be shown a truly interesting work of architecture currently under construction in Barcelona: La Borda housing co-operative, by Lacol Arquitectes. Visiting buildings while they are under construction is, for me, fundamental (pardon the expression) to architectural learning. On a construction site, something real is being built for a practical use, not something that is merely intended to be admired visually or conceptually. Normally, of course, we visit...

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