• Harvey Young

    Harvey Young is the dean of the College of Fine Arts, a CFA professor of theater, and a College of Arts & Sciences professor of English. He is the author of seven books, most recently Black Theater Is Black Life: An Oral History of Chicago Theater (coauthored with Mecca Zabriskie), and is the president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Profile

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There are 5 comments on POV: It’s Time to Change How We Choose Monuments and Statues

  1. Imagine if every monument spoke, what would they say? This is a great initiative. While some monuments do not deserve to take space I feel it’s far too easy to simply remove them. It would be more fruitful if we could “let the monuments speak”. I would like to see another project or two by Krzysztof Wodiczko using the community to testify to truths through the questionable monuments. Stay tuned for The Art if Un-War a documentary about Wodiczko’s work featuring some rare projections on monuments

  2. I greatly appreciate the debate of statues vs monuments. Can the figure of a single person reflect the contribution or loss of a people?

    Mia Linn was commissioned to create a memorial to the loss of lives for the Vietnam “conflict.”

    Vietnam veterans were up in arms that an Asian American was selected.

    She choose to NOT have a statue of a single person depict the loss of this unjust war.

    She designed a wall of the names of the more than 58,000 Americans (Asian, Black, White and other cultures) who became losses to this war.

    When the memorial opened, veterans of that war embraced it. They ran their fingers over the names of buddies they lost. They did not see a single statue, they saw the shear enormity of lives lost. Lives they knew.

    Mia Linn didn’t give us the guy on the horse with saber raised, she gave us something to reflect upon.

    That is what a MEMORIAL should be.

    Robbie Lohnes

  3. This is an excellent and long overdue initiative. It fits perfectly into this moment in which we still have heated debates on whether politicians and military leaders of a violent attempt to preserve slavery in this country should still be on display in public places. Monuments shape our collective historical memory, perhaps more than written histories (which require effort to read…). Trump’s comments included, by the way, an attack on Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”. My friend and colleague here at BU for many years would feel honored for being attacked by such a contemptible individual.

    1. I think a lot of people are sympathetic to taking down statues of confederate leaders. However, there should be a line drawn at someone like Abraham Lincoln and even further back figures such as the founding fathers. Sure some of the founding fathers may have owned slaves but the constitution they wrote provided the framework to prohibit slavery.

      There also needs to be a condemnation as well as jail time and/or fines for people who destroy or take down statues against the greater community’s will. We must stand up to the authoritarian tendencies of the idea of “antifa”.

      1. Because nothing says “taking a stand against authoritarian tendencies” like finding more reasons to throw people in jail…

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