Monumental “Local Diaspora” in St. Louis with MADAD’s Damon Davis, Mallory Rukhsana Nezam, and De Nichols
Welcome back to the Monument Lab podcast. This episode, we focus on St. Louis. For the past two years, Monument Lab has worked closely with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, mapping monuments in St. Louis. That includes traditional landmarks and unofficial sites of memory, whether they are existing, potential, or erased. To mark the close of our project together, we wanted to speak with locally-rooted MADAD, a brilliant and thoughtful collective of artists and designers from St. Louis whose work illuminates spatial injustice and cultural memory gaps in the region.MADAD’s Damon Davis, Mallory Rukhsana Nezam, and De Nichols work to reimagine how joy, justice, and interactivity improve public spaces. The group started their collaborations during the making of Mirror Casket, a sculpture, performance, and visual call to action composed in the aftermath of the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014. Mirror Casket is now in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.Their new project, Black Memory STL: Division, Displacement, and Local Diaspora, is a multi-year series of public art installations and interventions in partnership with the Brickline Greenway development and the Griot Museum of Black History. MADAD are also 2020 Monument Lab Fellows, and are featured in the exhibition and book project, Shaping the Past with the Goethe Institut and the German Federal Agency for Civic Education.