Memory & Monuments

Co-presented with Under the Campus, the Land

Memory & Monuments Open House

How do we remember on this campus and beyond? Explore the ways memory takes shape through monuments, markers, and the stories we tell. Learn from regional memory practitioners, who will share their work at an open house in the museum’s apse. Participate in hands-on activities that mine the history of the region. Discuss Michigan-based history with groups who ask “whose history gets to be included, and what’s worthy of a monument?”

In October, our Public Art & Engagement Fellows - Kevin Moultrie Daye, Emilia Yang, Jennifer Junkermeier-Khan, and Melanie Manos - showcased their research and creative practices at the Memory & Monuments Open House. 

The open house was presented by the Michigan Monuments Project, in partnership with UMMA and the U-M Arts Initiative and explored the ways memory takes shape through monuments, markers, and storytelling. Read all about their experience with this program below!

Public Art & Engagement Fellows Story
What was your experience of the Public Art & Engagement Fellowship like?
Emilia Yang, Assistant Professor of Art and Design said:

The Public Art and Engagement Fellowship was one of the most rewarding and inspiring experiences I have had at U-M so far. I was able to be part of a very diverse and welcoming community of colleagues across different schools and learn about the important work we are all doing with relation to public art, history and memory with emphasis on community building and process. 

What did you work on? What did you learn? How was it working with Monument Lab and the Arts Initiative?

I worked on a prototype of a project that I am developing to think about participatory ways of using technology and AR for collective memory. Some of the most important things I learned are the different projects affiliated with Monument Lab and the ways they collaborate to interrogate monuments, the stories and memories they elevate, and the absences that are also felt in public space and public art.

Anything else you’d like me to know about your work with the arts initiative? Anything that’s different, transformative from other fellowships you’ve participated in?

I would add that the programming and learning experiences brought by the Fellowship and the Arts and Resistance theme semester were also very impactful for my class Marking Memory ART DES 359. In the class students will experiment with objects, imagery, archives, digital authoring tools and the urban environment to create projects that critically engage cultural memory and the contested politics of memory.
As Jennifer (another fellow) mentioned, Jennifer, Jason and I collaborated to bring artist Ebitenyefa Baralaye, who gave the students a workshop on “Pottery as Poetry” in tandem to the groundbreaking exhibition Hear Me Now currently on view at UMMA that Jason co-curated. The students stated that both the exhibition and workshop really resonated with them and inspired them to think about the “rich yet violent archives of American history.”.Seeing their engagement with the exhibition as well with Ebitenyefa’s practice through their own stories and making has been very inspiring to me.

Arts Initiative names eight for Public Art & Engagement Fellowship
The University Record, September 19, 2022