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See You In the Streets

See You in the Streets

Art, Action + Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Book (2016)
Winner of a 2017 American Book Award

See You in the Streets offers an exuberant perspective on an art practice that bridges art and technology, memory and wonder to create compassionate works as an incitement to individual and social transformation.

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– Review the book on Amazon, Goodreads, etc.
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Invite me to your community to give a book talk

Perhaps we are made for these times at the 2017 American Book Awards from the Before Columbus Foundation.


Please also see Chalk, Voices of 9.11, Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition.

Sergel’s book is a case study in how to do art activism well. – Reviews in History  See You In the Streets offers public historians much fodder for thought and is also a good read. The Public Historian  Ninety years before 9/11, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire also destroyed a building in lower Manhattan, also led people to leap to their deaths rather than burn alive, but the culprit in the earlier case wasn’t terrorists, unless you bestow that name on ruthless employers. Ruth Sergel’s moving, riveting, and important book reminds us that ‘in 2011, the year of the Triangle Fire Centennial, 17 people in the United States were killed by terrorism, while 4,609 died in workplace accidents.’Rebecca Solnit, author, The Faraway Nearby Ruth Sergel has been ahead of the curve for years and this book proves it. We should listen very carefully to what she wants to do next! —Frida Kahlo, founding member, Guerrilla Girls In this passionate book, Sergel, a remarkable activist and artist, writes eloquently about one of history’s worst workplace tragedies—the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. Sergel also explains how art can be used ingeniously to keep memories of that tragedy alive so that we in the twenty-first century never forget the hugely important lessons to be drawn from it.Steven Greenhouse, author, The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker “The 2011 centennial commemoration of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire led by Ruth Sergel was among the most successful unions of art and social justice I have yet to witness in my thirty-year career. Beautifully written, See You in the Streets offers new generations of social and cultural activist insight into this magnificent model program and ways to utilize the ‘unexpected beauty’ in the world toward social justice.”Steve Zeitlin, Founding Director, City Lore
Table of Contents Welcome • The Fire • Chalk • Craft • Voices of 9.11 • Start Your Engines • Solidarity • Radical Tolerance • Fair Exchange • Leadership • Difficult Memory • Memorial • Sustainability • Acts of Return • The Centennial (Utopia) • See You in the Streets The book includes essays by: Suzanne Pred Bass, Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, Cheryl Beredo, May Y. Chen, Esther Cohen, Richard A. Greenwald, Sherry Kane, Annie Lanzillotto, LuLu LoLo, Annelise Orleck, Kaushik Panchal, Emma Rosenthal, Elissa Sampson, Andi Sosin + Joel Sosinsky, Ellen Wiley Todd, Mary Anne Trasciatti and Sheryl Woodruff. The introduction is by Anne Valk. Photographs: Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, Roy Campolongo, Nathan Farb, Diane Fortuna, Alfonso Guerriero + the Young Historians of PS 126, Heidi Gutman, Marjorie Ingall, Scott Jackson + his class at the Brooklyn International High School, Phyllis Kestenbaum, Serphin + Vincent Maltese, Gary Meister, RJ Mikelson (for Workers United), Shelley Jacobs Mintz, Ileana Montalvo and Vivian Sorenson. See You in the Streets is a part of the Humanities and Public Life series at the University of Iowa Press edited by Anne Valk and Teresa Mangum. Catherine Cocks: acquisitions editor, Susan Hill Newton: managing editor, Karen Copp: production manager, Rebecca Marsh: copy editor, Laurie Pendergast: index editor, Allison Means: Publicity, James McCoy: director. Heartfelt thanks to all who made this book possible.

There are moments in our lives when we are most fully ourselves. Its an electrifying feeling. Constraints that felt immutable, we step right out of them. Fully present in our bodies, its loose and sexy. We can spin on a dime to face any adversity and blaze right through. It is not that we are fearless, it is often terrifying, but the motion that is propelling us forward has so much joy, so much life force, that our demons become tiny in comparison. With crackling energy, we find ourselves whole.

My work is directed at what makes those moments possible for myself and for others. The crooked path from blown out despair, when we lack the energy to tackle even the simplest tasks, to gathering our resources to march forward once again. There is a delicate peeling apart of the layers of personal struggle from political despair. To emancipate ourselves we have to exorcise internalized self-censorship and seek communion with others to find brash hope. My work across film, public works and new media, seeks out what makes individual and social transformation possible.

Download the introduction to See You In the Streets.

Chalk

Chalk

Public Intervention (2004 – present)

On 25 March 1911 the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire  took the lives of 146 workers, mostly young immigrant women and girls, and galvanized a movement for social and economic justice.

Each year since 2004, on the anniversary of the infamous blaze, volunteers fan out across the city to inscribe in chalk the names and ages of the Triangle dead in front of their former homes. Chalk is a kind of land art for the Anthropocene. Using the local elements – asphalt, chalk, humans – found in the cityscape. Footsteps and rain will erase the memorial but in a demonstration of the power of collective action, the following year others will return, insisting on the memory of these lost young workers.

 

If you would like to participate in Chalk 2023 let me know!

Download the Chalk 2021 flier here.

 

…trusting the people is the indispensable precondition for revolutionary change. -Paulo Freire


Please also see See You in the Streets, Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition, Gaza Ghetto.

Music: Di Fire Korbunes [excerpt] arranged + recorded byEve Sicular + Metropolitan Klezmer, 2011. Published by Louis Gilrod & David Meyerowitz, 1911.
To view the map full screen, please click here
To view the database table of the Triangle dead including their addresses and other information, please click here.

The list of names was originally based on the work of David von Drehle and updated based on information from Triangle family members, the Kheel Center and ongoing research by John Leonard and Michael Hirsch. If you have info or suggestions – let me know! Many thanks to the technical genius + kind heart of John Schimmel.

History of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, created for the 2021 union commemoration.

Tikkun Olam

Tikkun Olam

Interactive Installation (2020 – 2021)

Solo exhibition at Kunstverein Grafschaft Bentheim 8 November 2020 – 28 February 2021 curated by Muriel Meyer. Tikkun Olam translates roughly as to heal the world. A Jewish philosophical concept, in recent years it has been revived as a call to stand for social, economic and racial justice.

Through animation, photographs and found objects, Tikkun Olam is a walking cinema of the experience of moving to Germany as a Jewish person, the rise of Trump and facing uncomfortable questions about Israel/Palestine.


The red lace pattern is taken from my grandmother’s tablecloth.

 

What I found at the flea market | Was ich am Flohmarkt gefunden habe

 

I went to Volkshochschule to learn German

In one class there was a young man from Gaza. Of course, in my family, we had never spoken about Israel or Palestine. He was studying public health. His thesis was on services for children with cerebral palsy in Gaza. We had an immediate bond. That’s one of the things about disability – it can cut across traditional lines of nationality, race, class and religion. His niece has cerebral palsy. My sister also has cerebral palsy.

I want to show you the first film I ever made, with Bruce Jackson. He also has cerebral palsy.

Meine bosnischen Freunde brachten mich zu Stätten der umstrittenen Erinnerung

My Bosnian friends took me to sites of contested memory.

LaGeSo

Sometimes it isn’t right to take a photograph.

Please take a breath,
In + out
Feet slightly apart. Find your center
Another breath and if you are willing
Let your eyes close and listen.
I have a story I want to tell you

One summer day in 2015 my phone exploded
They are here!

Old people, babies, all out in the hot sun. My apartment is a 5 minute walk from the government building where the refugees go to register.
I buy fruit, bubbles and colored markers for the children. My neighbors and I become a great river, pouring out of the buildings. Through the streets we flow into the government courtyard. It is already filled with people sitting on the rough ground. I’m nervous and give away everything I have too quickly.
There is a small building where suplies are being gathered and organized. We carry the boxes of food outside – would you like an orange? Some bread? Water? In my memory it is quiet. Everyone is very focused. How bad does it have to be that one would leave their homeland?

A man in the courtyard begins to sing

No one tells us what to do. We know what to do.
We keep our head down and do the work. We will re-make the world as it could be. At least for today, we have found a way to do our part.

You can open your eyes now.
Thank you for listening.

 

7 Verbotende Wörter | 7 Forbidden Words

Sieben Worte, die das Gesundheitsministerium nach Meinung der Trump-Administration nicht verwenden soll.
Seven words the Trump administration doesn’t want the CDC to use

  • 1863 scarred back of Gordon who escaped slavery.
  • 1890 Massacre at Wounded Knee.
  • 1968 My Lai massacre, Vietnam.
  • 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act
  • 1921 Blair Mountain. Striking miners bombed from planes.
  • 1954 US supported coup against democratically elected president of Guatemala leads to widespread massacres.
  • 1942-6 Japanese internment camps
  • 1916 Lynching of Jesse Washington. Postcard quote: This is the barbeque we had last night.
  • 2009 abortion protestor at clinic of Dr. George Tiller who was shot, fire bombed + ultimately murdered.
  • 1980 Man w an Uzi kills 2 men + injures many others shouting I'll kill them all - the gays - they ruin everything.
  • 1914 Ludlow Massacre. State national guard + company goons attack tent village of striking miners. Among many others, 11 children asphyxiated + burned to death
  • September 11, 1973 CIA supported coup of democratically elected President Allende of Chile.
  • "More African American adults are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850" Michelle Alexander (read The New Jim Crow)
  • 2003 Smiling American faces at Abu Ghraib
  • 1938 Father Coughlin, with up to 30 million weekly listeners: When we get through with the Jews in America, they will think the treatment they received in Germany was nothing.
  • 1932-72 Tuskegee syphilis experiment on African American men + their families.
  • 1993 Jerry Falwell says: AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals.
  • 2014 Young man kills 6 and says: My war on women...I am the true victim in all this.
  • 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire takes the lives of 146 young garment workers, most of them immigrant women and girls. Owner says: I had a right to protect my property.
  • Roy Cohn. Prodigious use of red + lavender scare tactics. Known for his role in Rosenberg trial, working w McCarthy + representing Trump. Disbarred.
  • 1955 Emmett Till, 14 years old. One of his murderers: I just decided it was time a few people got put on notice. As long as I live and can do anything about it, niggers are gonna stay in their place.
  • 1891 largest mass lynching in US history. 11 Italian men in New Orleans. Call to violence states:...the descendants of bandits and assassins...are to us a pest without mitigation.
  • 1988 Couple shot 8 times while camping. Shooter claimed he was outraged by seeing them have sex when he followed + spied on them. Rebecca Wight perished.
  • 1957 Little Rock, National Guard block African American students from integrating high school
  • 1830 Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act: What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive republic...
  • 1956-? What do Viola Liuzzo, Charlie Chaplin + Martin Luther King jr. have in common?? COINTELPRO !!
  • 1991 Footprints on the locked door where workers tried to escape the Hamlet chicken processing plant fire. 25 perished.
  • 1995 Timothy McVeigh kills 168 people by blowing up a federal building w a daycare center in Oklahoma City. He says: I strongly believe in a god given right to self defense.
  • 1860 Pemberton Mill collapse + fire kills 145 due to shoddy building materials and over crowded heavy equipment.
  • 2016 Khalid Jabara murdered after calling 911 twice that day about neighbor who was out on bail for having run over Jabara's mother. Murderer says: Fuck you Arabs... I want to kill you all
  • 1963 Four little girls killed by a bomb set off at their church by the KKK
  • 1969 visionary Black Panther Fred Hampton assassinated by Chicago police
  • 2014 Eric Garner says:I can't breathe 11 times before he is killed by the NYPD. Who is in jail? The guy who filmed the violence.
  • 1939 MS St Louis set sail from Germany with 908 Jewish refugees. Turned away from Cuba, US and Canada most were returned to Europe + perished
  • 1970 just 11 days after Kent State, police fire on protesting Jackson State students killing two
  • 1855 Protestant nativist Know Nothing (American) Party members riot against Irish + German immigrants on election day. 22 killed
  • 1917 1300 striking mine workers + supporters kidnapped + deported in Brisbee, AZ
  • 1954 Yes there was an Operation Wetback. Papers? No papers? Didn't matter. 1.5 million deported to Mexico.
  • Terrorism. 3 women murdered every day by a current or former male partner in the US. Photo by Donna Ferrato
  • 1919 Elaine Massacre one of the deadliest racial conflicts in US history.
  • 1968 Nixon + Kissinger sabotage Paris peace talks to win the election. Thousands die as a result.
  • Legal forced sterilization as recently as 2010 of people deemed undesirable because of mental or physical disability, poverty or race.
  • 1972 Buffalo Creek disaster 132,000,000 gallons of mining waste water floods, killing 125 + displacing over 4000.
  • 1968-2011 ~1.4 million people killed by guns in the US. Rebecca Solnit based on the work of TM Luhrmann: ...when schizophrenics hear voices in India, they're more likely to be told to clean the house, while Americans are more likely to be told to become violent. Culture.
  • 1950 - ? What do Paul Robeson, Daniel Ellsberg + Chelsea Manning all have in common? The McCarran Act of course!
  • 1926 KKK march on Washington. At its peak the Ku Klux Klan had over 4 million members
  • 2015 Dylann Roof murders 9 people in a Charleston Church and claims: we have no skinheads no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.
  • 1965 Selma. Beaten to unconsciousness for marching for the right to vote. Thank you John Lewis. Thank you Amelia Bonyon Robinson
  • 2002 “Please don't. I have a family” last words of 17 year old Gwen Araujo. At trial the defense claim gay/trans panic on behalf of her murderers.
  • 2010 Prior to the ACA (Obamacare), the US had the most expensive, least effective medical care of Western industrialized nations with an estimated 45,000 people dying each year from lack of healthcare. Medical bills are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy.
  • 1945 US drops atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing between 129,000 and 206,000 people.
  • 2017 the black hole of neediness becomes president.

#MAGA

Brunch

In the summer of 2014 Israel was bombing Gaza + I worried about my VHS friend + his family. I made a naive attempt. I organized a brunch for my friend from Gaza and I also invited my Bosnian friends.

Eat! Eat! I was circling the table serving too much food, desperate to make it better for him. We gesture and smile through a Skype with his family.
– We are all together
– We heart your son
Complete hysteria, rarely letting our friend from Gaza even speak. Throughout the meal the Bosnian man, wounded in Sarajevo, remained quiet, apart. Finally, he looked my VHS friend in the eye and said

Listen
You’ve lost your country.
I lost my country too.
But we’re here and we’re going to be OK.

Nobody said anything more for a very long time.
Now I will show you what I made after

 

Pandemic Postcards

Vielleicht habe auch ich mein Land verloren

Perhaps I have lost my country too

Tikkun Olam

When my grandmother was in her 90s we took her to the Holocaust museum in Washington DC. She sat huddled and silent in a wheelchair. We were pushing her through a hall marked with the names of Jewish communities that no longer exist.
Suddenly her arm shot out.
There! She called out pointing to the name of a small village. That is where we come from!

Kalvarija, Lithuania

After living in Germany for most of a decade, I’ve learned that I have to be rigorous about remaining in the present when I consider the past. I’ve learned that cruelty or even genocide is easier than I thought. All it takes is an information bubble and someone designated as an other. People fall for it with breath taking speed and do unimaginably horrible things. I’ve learned that I have to practice if I want to be brave.

Tikkun Olam, our opportunity to heal the world during our short time here.

Thank you for being here.​

 

146 Workers

146 Workers

Public Intervention (2021)

A collaboration by Ruth Sergel, Esther Cohen, Sherry Kane, LuLu LoLo
May Chen, Gary Shoichet, Rachel Bernstein, Edvige Giunta, Ed Vargas, Mary Anne Trasciatti, May Chen, Ernesto L. Martinez


Please also see: See You in the Streets, Chalk, Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition,

Please see below for ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation + Chinese (Mandarin) simulcast.

Lizzie Adler Rabbi Michael Feinberg Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition
Anna Altman Chesa Boudin DA San Francisco
Vincenza Bellotto Araceli Torres NY Nail Salon Workers Association
Vincenza Benanti Gina Pollara Triangle Fire Memorial Project
Yetta Berger Donna Schaper Minister
Essie Bernstein Sandra Lennon Division Chair, Private Lines, Transport Workers Union Local 100
Jacob Bernstein Ellen Gruber Garvey Triangle Family
Morris Bernstein Dr. Sarah Sayeed Chair & Executive Director, NYC Civic Engagement Commission
Abraham Binevitz Ahava Dopha Lifelong Activist
Gussie Bierman Deborah Berke Founder, Deborah Berke Partners, Dean, Yale School of Architecture, Triangle Fire Memorial Competition, Jury Chair
Caterina Bona Giannattasio Marie Sainta Desravines Home Health Aide, Local 1199 SEIU
Rosa Bona Bassino Fr. John Mulreany SJ, The Church of St. Francis Xavier & Rev. Angelo Plodari CS, Our Lady of Pompeii Church
Rosie Brenman Izzy Kossoy Youth Activist
Sarah Brenman Sarah Tabak Youth Activist
Ida Brodsky Shirley Martin Vice President, Car Equipment, Transport Workers Union Local 100
Sarah Brodsky Anne Winslow Nurse Practitioner (Retired) Texas
Ada Brucks El Puente Leaders for Peace and Justice
Laura Brunetti Oona Adams Laborers’ Local 79 & daughter Sadie Bunting
Josephine Cammarata Pablo Lizardo Porter, Local 32BJ SEIU
Francesca Caputo Union Health Center, NYC
Josephine Carlisi Anna Crull Student
Albina Caruso Rep. William J. Pascrell, Jr. Co-Chair Italian-American Congressional Delegation
Anna Ciminello Jamie E. Troise Triangle Family
Rosina Cirrito Adriana Fuente Hair Salon Worker
Anna Cohen Rural & Migrant Ministry’s Youth Empowerment Program
Anna Colletti Jenny Sandoval & Maria Gallardo NY Metropolitan Area Joint Board, Workers United SEIU
Sarah Cooper Barbara Byers Artist
Michelina Cordiano Perfecto Arroyo United Food and Commercial Workers Local 2013 & Paul Sherry Minister
Bessie Dashefsky Diana Feldman Triangle Family
Josie Del Castillo Robert Del Castillo Triangle Family
Clara Dockman Helmar Cooper Actor
Kalman Donick Elliot & Emily Steinberg Triangle Family
Nettie Driansky Rita Bobry Triangle Family
Celia (Civia) Eisenberg Allison Rose Kestenbaum Triangle Family
Dora Evens Heather Graham Actor
Rebecca Feibisch Edgar Romney Secretary-Treasurer, Workers United SEIU
Yetta Fichtenholtz Wally Lamb Writer
Daisy Lopez Fitze Elissa Sampson New Yorker
Grazia (Maria) Floresta Sonia Goldstein Artist, Activist
Max Florin Steven Kolb Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)
Concettina Franco Dr. Fedele Vero Triangle Family
Rose Friedman Ann Newman Bacal Activist, Actor
Diana Gerjuoy Rosalyn Smith Beyond Incarceration Program Manager, Vday
Masha Gerstein Yeohlee Teng Designer YEOHLEE
Celia Gitlin Margaret Randall Writer
Esther Goldstein Jordan, Hudson & Nolan Hix Students
Lena Goldstein Eduardo Student
Mary Goldstein Peter Vasquez Student
Yetta Goldstein Michele and Pamela Esterman Triangle Family
Rosa Grasso Lori Reich Triangle Family
Bertha Greb V (Formerly Eve Ensler) Playwright, Activist
Rachel Grossman Felix Cavalieri Young Rascals
Mary Herman Bhavin Antala Pharmacist
Esther Hochfield Tomlin Perkins Coggeshall
Fannie Hollander Jon Michael Unhoused & Sam LaPell Student
Pauline Horowitz Cheryl Clarke Lesbian Poet
Ida Jukofsky Usha Kaul Student
Ida Kanowitz Anna Luczaj & Joe Soto Commercial Cleaners, Local 32BJ SEIU
Tessie Kaplan Mani Ivatury Student Ed Vargas & Elizabeth Weiner
Beckie Kessler Ellen Cassedy Co-founder, 9 to 5 Office Workers Association
Jacob Klein Joanne Borts Chorus Councillor, Actors’ Equity Association
Beckie Koppelman Romeo Guy Letter Carrier
Bertha Kula Doreen Wohl Lifelong Activist, Clara Lemlich Awardee
Tillie Kupferschmidt Breena Clark Novelist
Benjamin Kurtz Senator Elizabeth Warren
Marianna (Annie) L’Abbate Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church
Fannie Lansner Erica Lansner Triangle Family
Jennie Lederman Myriam Hernandez NY Communities for Change
Max Lehrer Richard Joon Yoo Triangle Fire Memorial Co-Designer & sons Lev & Jonah
Sam Lehrer Uri Wegman Triangle Fire Memorial Co-Designer
Kate Leone Judy Heumann Disability Rights Activist
Mary Leventhal Ai-Jen Poo Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Jennie Levin Joanna Kerns Director, Actor
Pauline Levine Da Homeless Hero
Nettie Liebowitz Gay Novack Triangle Family
Rose Liermark Amy Goodman Journalist
Bettina Maiale Mary Anne Trasciatti President, Remember the Triangle Fire
Coalition & daughter Bridget Caslowitz FIT, class of 2021
Francesca Maiale Tierra Williams Organizer, Laborers’ Local 79
Caterina Maltese James McGill Triangle Family
Lucia Maltese Kimberly Schiller Teacher
Rosarea Maltese Deborah Brown Women’s Liaison, Family & Women’s Assistance, Transport Workers Union Local 100
Rose Mankofsky Steven Greenhouse Labor Journalist
Rose Mehl Kalpona Akter President, Bangladesh Garment & Industrial Workers Federation (BGIWF)
Yetta Meyers Khanyisile Ndaba Student, Capetown & New York City
Gaetana Midolo Arlender Nuñez Garifuna Community Leader & daughters Arieth & Leylani
Annie Miller Elise Bryant President, Coalition of Labor Union Women
Maria Miraglia Heather McHale Amber Light Society IBEW Local 3 & Steamfitters
Beckie Neubauer Anne Marie Zaren Philadelphia Joint Board, Workers United SEIU
Annie Nicholas Debbie & Mark Wells Triangle Family
Michelina Nicolosi Kristen Herman Physical Therapist
Sadie Nussbaum Sara Nelson President, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
Julia Oberstein Ariella Resnikoff-Diaz Student
Rose Oringer Mike Farrell Actor, Activist
Beckie Ostrovsky Seth Goldman Taxi Driver
Annie Pack Maya Bernstein Barista
Provvidenza Panno Nicole Vecchione Laborers’ Eastern Region Organizing Fund
Anna Pasqualicchio Ardito Katie Quan Former ILGWU Organizer
Antonietta Pasqualicchio Ellen Bravo Co-Founder, Family Values @ Work Network
Ida Pearl Roberta Reardon NYS Commissioner of Labor
Jennie Pildescu Analilia Mejia Deputy Director, Women’s Bureau, US Dept of Labor & Luz Mejia ILGWU Retiree
Vincenza Pinello Jose Antonio Vargas Founder, Define American
Emilia Prato Larry Goldbetter President, National Writers Union
Concetta Prestifilippo Robert Forrant Professor of History, UMass Lowell
Beckie Reines Ann Toback CEO, Workers Circle
Fannie Rosen Cheryl Wilkins Director, Women Transcending
Israel Rosen Davena Rattipal Student, Triangle Fire Course, NJ City University
Julia Rosen Etrita Abdullahu Student, Triangle Fire Course, NJ City University
Louis (Loeb) Rosen Rachel Swersey Triangle Family
Yetta Rosenbaum Nina Shapiro-Perl SEIU, PhD, Filmmaker, Anthropologist
Jennie Rosenberg Michelle Miller Co-Executive Director of Coworker.org
Gussie Rosenfeld Alice Ip ILGWU Local 23-25, 1982 Chinatown Strike Organizer
Emma Rothstein Luis Argueta Filmmaker, Guatemala & NY
Theodore Rotner Clayola Brown President, A Philip Randolph Institute & Civil, Human & Women’s Rights Director, AFL-CIO
Sarah Sabasowitz Jessica Garcia Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union
Santina Salemi Lou Miano Triangle Family
Serafina Saracino LuLu LoLo Performance Artist, Playwright, Actor, RTFC Board Member
Teresa Saracino Adrienne Andi Sosin & Joel Sosinsky RTFC Board Secretary Co-Authors of The NYC Triangle Factory Fire
Gussie Schiffman Susan Zugaib Director, Labor Chorus Anya Pathania
Theresa Schmidt Wendy Chun-Hoon Director, Women’s Bureau, US Dept of Labor
& Dashiell
Ethel Schneider Scott Grabell Berlin, Great Grandson of Ethel Monnick, Survivor
Velye Schochet Zelde Malevitz Triangle Family
Golda Schpunt Gale Brewer Manhattan Borough President
Margaret Schwartz Josie Perez Fruit and Vegetable Vendor
Jacob Seltzer Jack Robinson Firefighter with granddaughters Jojo & Ginny
Rosie Shapiro Erik Bottcher Politician
Ben Sklover Lisa Hazirjian Strategist & Organizer
Rose Sorkin Mei Lum Wing on Wo (WOW)
Annie Starr Vivian Sorenson Triangle Family
Jennie Stein Rona Doorry Homecare Worker Betty Odabashian Artist & Shole Minnick Student
Giovanna Stellino Shi Greene Construction Worker, Laborers’ Local 79, Mentor, Pathways to Apprenticeship
Jennie Stiglitz Shauna Irving Electrician, IBEW Local 3, Graduate, Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW)
Sam Taback Jose Luis Ortiz Artist, Mexico & NY
Clotilde Terranova Rose Marie Miele Triangle Family Ester Rizzo Scrittrice, Licata, Italy
Isabella Tortorelli Mallory Briancesco, Rory (6) Holly (10 months) Sutton (4), Triangle Family
Maria Giuseppa Tortorelli Lauletta Mallory Briancesco, Rory (6) Holly (10 months) Sutton (4), Triangle Family
Meyer Utal Michael Zweig Teacher
Catherine Uzzo Jean Hervey VP, SW Region, Workers United SEIU
Frieda Velakofsky Sara Kozlowski VP, CFDA Foundation, Education & Sustainability Initiatives
Bessie Viviano Rita Margules Clara Lemlich’s daughter
Rosie Weiner Emily Bass Triangle Family
Sarah Weintraub Lynn Southerland Animation Producer/Director
Tessie Wiesner Jonel Beauvais & daughter Milany Oakes Akwesasne Mohawk Nation
Dora Welfowitz Donna Chin Teacher
Bertha Wendroff Emma Virjan Artist
Joseph Wilson Elizabeth Wilson Triangle Family
Sonia Wisotsky Bryan, Barbara & Aden Mosak Triangle Family

Workers United, NY Central Labor Council, Workers Circle

Jane Margules, Jude Calder & Richard Harkness, Laura Farrell & Adam Bernstein, Ester Rizzo, Maribeth Whitehouse, Lou Mandarini, Mary Ann Hacker, Serphin R. Maltese, Leigh Benin, Nechemia Aaron Oberstein, Davidson Garrett

Immerwährende Verwandlung

lmmerwährende Verwandlung (Perpetual Metamorphosis)

Interactive Installation (2019)

An interactive cabinet of wonders created from the collections of the University of Hamburg.

See…Panofsky’s Mirror
A portrait of the renowned art historian, forced to leave
the university in 1933, shares his views on art and time

Touch… Objects of Knowledge
Wax, fur, newspaper, amber. Touch each object to trigger a story from the university’s past

Listen… Lunascope
Peering through the Lunascope one can view the history of women at the university.

Move… You Are Everything You Need
Standing before a projection, the viewer’s physical
movement triggers animated scenes and embodies objects from the university’s collections.

 

Commissioned and on permanent exhibition at the University of Hamburg.


Please also see Alice in Berlin, Magic Box

Alles. Jedes Bild, jede Stimme und jede Musik von der Universität Hamburg.
Kuratorinnen Antonia Humm, Kirsten Weining
Universität: Antje Zare

Vielen Dank:
Jennifer Ahrens
Robi Banerjee
Daniel Bein
Dörte Bischof
Johanna Blautzik
Andreas Boether
Sarah Casura
Thure Dalsgaard
Henrik Eßler
Frank Fox
Wiebke Främcke
Jörg Hammel
Dieter Haneit
Lara Hemken
Katharina Jessen
Ulrich Kotthoff
Sigrid Körner
Gabriele Kranz
Eckart Krause
Sebastian Lindhorst
Andreas Löhrer
Anke Napp
Antje Newig
Ranier Nicolaysen
Fanny Opdenhoff
Phillip Osten
Angelika Paschke-Kratzin
Thomas Posth
René Rackow
Stefan Rust
Marko Saggau
Carsten Schirarend
Jochen Schlüter
Matthias Schultz
Fabian Schwarz
Klaus von Schwartzenberg
Anke Vollersen
Jan Wollenberg
Leon Ziemer

Praktikantinnen Maxime von Camier, Louisa Jahn, Nina Zare

I met so many people at Uni Hamburg – if your name should be on this list – let me know!

Panofskys Spiegel Stimme
Ranier Nicolaysen

Luna Stimme
Lara Hemken
Antonia Humm
Katharina Jessen
Antje Newig
Angelika Paschke-Kratzin
Kerstin Weining

Du Bist Alles Was Du Brauchst Stimme
Eckart Krause

Musik
Orchester der Universität Hamburg
unter der Leitung von Thomas Posth
Winterkonzertes vom Februar 2019
Gustav Mahler 2. Sinfonie

Chor der Universität Hamburg
unter der Leitung von Thomas Posth
“Sphären” vom Sommer 2018 in der Kirche St. Johannis Harvestehude

Skyliner Big Band
Unter der Leitung von Andreas Böther
One O’Clock Jump

Foto
Frank Fox (Mikrobiologie)
Karin Plessing + Reinhard Scheiblich (Moulagen, Medizinhistorisches Museum Hamburg)
 

Assistenten der Künstlerin
Bronwyn Donohue
Olga Ortiz

Tischler
Jonas Maria Droste

Besonderen Dank an
Kuratorinnen Antonia Humm, Kirsten Weining
Universität Hamburg Antje Zare, Lara Hemken, René Rackow
Die guten Leute von Gewerk
Benutzertester Aglaia Koslowski, Michael Keuntje, Martina Mogl, Birte Stoltenberg, Helmut Tausendteufel
Jude Calder, Nathan Farb, Pamela Griffiths + the Sitting Room Drawers
Vielen Dank für die Inspiration Ranier Nicolaysen + Eckart Krause

 

 

All the pieces in Immerwährende Verwandlung were built with Isadora and Arduino.

You can download the code here.

 

 

Pandemic Postcard

Pandemic Postcard

Social Intervention (2020)

 

How to digest the news in a pandemic?
Cut it up + revise
(more postcards coming soon!)

 

Make your own!
– Buy pre-stamped postcards – #SaveUSPS
– Cut out words + pictures from your local newspaper
– Use artist medium to decoupage newsprint to the postcard.
– After postcard dries, leave it under a heavy book to flatten
– Listen to the postcard to know who it should go to
– Address + drop it in the mail
– Repeat

 


Please also see Gaza Ghetto, #MAGA, Forbidden Words

Gaza Ghetto

Gaza Ghetto

Public Intervention (2014 – present)

There should be a word for it.

Earlier this summer I was sitting in a Berlin cafe with two other Jewish women. We each had a story about the moment when it happened. For me it was taking a language class and meeting a young man from Gaza. For the woman from Frankfurt it was while living in Jerusalem. A gear click-turns and the hazy fantasy of Israel is gone, replaced by something harsh and clear and true.

Question:

Am I living in alignment with my own values?

Gaza Ghetto was originally created in 2014 as a response to Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. I wrote the name and age of each person killed in Gaza on my arm, photographed it and posted the image to social media. Israel killed roughly 2200 people that summer, most of them civilians, 548 were children. Since that time hundreds more Palestinians have been killed. The Gaza Ghetto project continues.

Please stay informed. Resources include: Jewish Voice for Peace, Electronic Intifada, B’Tselem

 


Please also see Chalk, Voices of 9.11.

Forbidden Words

Forbidden Words: USA 2017

Public Intervention (2017)

The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.
Washington Post 15 December 2017

 

Thank you Esme Farb, Tyler Kim, Clara Palavesin, Saudia Young. Al. Bruce + Ethel dearly missed.


Please also see #maga, Gaza Ghetto

#maga

#maga

Public Intervention (2016 – 2017)

52 cards (a full deck) created between the 2016 Electoral College vote and the 2017 Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States.

 


Please also see Bruce, Forbidden Words, Gaza Ghetto, Chalk.

  • 1863 scarred back of Gordon who escaped slavery.
  • 1890 Massacre at Wounded Knee.
  • 1968 My Lai massacre, Vietnam.
  • 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act
  • 1921 Blair Mountain. Striking miners bombed from planes.
  • 1954 US supported coup against democratically elected president of Guatemala leads to widespread massacres.
  • 1942-6 Japanese internment camps
  • 1916 Lynching of Jesse Washington. Postcard quote: This is the barbeque we had last night.
  • 2009 abortion protestor at clinic of Dr. George Tiller who was shot, fire bombed + ultimately murdered.
  • 1980 Man w an Uzi kills 2 men + injures many others shouting I'll kill them all - the gays - they ruin everything.
  • 1914 Ludlow Massacre. State national guard + company goons attack tent village of striking miners. Among many others, 11 children asphyxiated + burned to death
  • September 11, 1973 CIA supported coup of democratically elected President Allende of Chile.
  • "More African American adults are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850" Michelle Alexander (read The New Jim Crow)
  • 2003 Smiling American faces at Abu Ghraib
  • 1938 Father Coughlin, with up to 30 million weekly listeners: When we get through with the Jews in America, they will think the treatment they received in Germany was nothing.
  • 1932-72 Tuskegee syphilis experiment on African American men + their families.
  • 1993 Jerry Falwell says: AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals.
  • 2014 Young man kills 6 and says: My war on women...I am the true victim in all this.
  • 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire takes the lives of 146 young garment workers, most of them immigrant women and girls. Owner says: I had a right to protect my property.
  • Roy Cohn. Prodigious use of red + lavender scare tactics. Known for his role in Rosenberg trial, working w McCarthy + representing Trump. Disbarred.
  • 1955 Emmett Till, 14 years old. One of his murderers: I just decided it was time a few people got put on notice. As long as I live and can do anything about it, niggers are gonna stay in their place.
  • 1891 largest mass lynching in US history. 11 Italian men in New Orleans. Call to violence states:...the descendants of bandits and assassins...are to us a pest without mitigation.
  • 1988 Couple shot 8 times while camping. Shooter claimed he was outraged by seeing them have sex when he followed + spied on them. Rebecca Wight perished.
  • 1957 Little Rock, National Guard block African American students from integrating high school
  • 1830 Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act: What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive republic...
  • 1956-? What do Viola Liuzzo, Charlie Chaplin + Martin Luther King jr. have in common?? COINTELPRO !!
  • 1991 Footprints on the locked door where workers tried to escape the Hamlet chicken processing plant fire. 25 perished.
  • 1995 Timothy McVeigh kills 168 people by blowing up a federal building w a daycare center in Oklahoma City. He says: I strongly believe in a god given right to self defense.
  • 1860 Pemberton Mill collapse + fire kills 145 due to shoddy building materials and over crowded heavy equipment.
  • 2016 Khalid Jabara murdered after calling 911 twice that day about neighbor who was out on bail for having run over Jabara's mother. Murderer says: Fuck you Arabs... I want to kill you all
  • 1963 Four little girls killed by a bomb set off at their church by the KKK
  • 1969 visionary Black Panther Fred Hampton assassinated by Chicago police
  • 2014 Eric Garner says:I can't breathe 11 times before he is killed by the NYPD. Who is in jail? The guy who filmed the violence.
  • 1939 MS St Louis set sail from Germany with 908 Jewish refugees. Turned away from Cuba, US and Canada most were returned to Europe + perished
  • 1970 just 11 days after Kent State, police fire on protesting Jackson State students killing two
  • 1855 Protestant nativist Know Nothing (American) Party members riot against Irish + German immigrants on election day. 22 killed
  • 1917 1300 striking mine workers + supporters kidnapped + deported in Brisbee, AZ
  • 1954 Yes there was an Operation Wetback. Papers? No papers? Didn't matter. 1.5 million deported to Mexico.
  • Terrorism. 3 women murdered every day by a current or former male partner in the US. Photo by Donna Ferrato
  • 1919 Elaine Massacre one of the deadliest racial conflicts in US history.
  • 1968 Nixon + Kissinger sabotage Paris peace talks to win the election. Thousands die as a result.
  • Legal forced sterilization as recently as 2010 of people deemed undesirable because of mental or physical disability, poverty or race.
  • 1972 Buffalo Creek disaster 132,000,000 gallons of mining waste water floods, killing 125 + displacing over 4000.
  • 1968-2011 ~1.4 million people killed by guns in the US. Rebecca Solnit based on the work of TM Luhrmann: ...when schizophrenics hear voices in India, they're more likely to be told to clean the house, while Americans are more likely to be told to become violent. Culture.
  • 1950 - ? What do Paul Robeson, Daniel Ellsberg + Chelsea Manning all have in common? The McCarran Act of course!
  • 1926 KKK march on Washington. At its peak the Ku Klux Klan had over 4 million members
  • 2015 Dylann Roof murders 9 people in a Charleston Church and claims: we have no skinheads no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.
  • 1965 Selma. Beaten to unconsciousness for marching for the right to vote. Thank you John Lewis. Thank you Amelia Bonyon Robinson
  • 2002 “Please don't. I have a family” last words of 17 year old Gwen Araujo. At trial the defense claim gay/trans panic on behalf of her murderers.
  • 2010 Prior to the ACA (Obamacare), the US had the most expensive, least effective medical care of Western industrialized nations with an estimated 45,000 people dying each year from lack of healthcare. Medical bills are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy.
  • 1945 US drops atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing between 129,000 and 206,000 people.
  • 2017 the black hole of neediness becomes president.

Alice in Berlin

Alice in Berlin

Interactive Installation (2012)
It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards – Lewis Carroll

Alice in Berlin slyly evokes our fantasy of childhood innocence to lead the audience on a hallucinatory trip into today’s global chaos. Each scene of the interactive installation builds on the audiences physical participation to question our place in history and individual accountability.

Initially the audience is passive for a short animation as Alice leaps off the page. Alice lures us into a topsy-turvy world where 19th century images collide with iconic moments of the 20th century. In front of the looking glass, fantasy and reality merge as Alice fluidly mirrors the viewer’s every move. A surreal landscape leads to a contemporary world of global change. Alice disappears and we land firmly back in contemporary Berlin


Please also see Al, Turing Machine, Ethel.

Program/animation by Ruth Sergel.

White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane on Surrealistic Pillow.

Thanks to Peter von Salis, Kay Kastner + Multimedier Schlachthof, Mark Coniglio, Antonia Humm, Victoria Rothe and Helmut Tausentaufeld.

Exhibition: Arcilesi Homberg Fine Art (NYC), Out of Line Gallery (Chicago), Multimedier Schlachthof/ 48 Stunden Neukölln (Berlin).