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