Speaking at the Columbia Oral History Workshop

Oct. 20: Intersection | Prospect Heights : Dialogue in the Supermarket

WHEN: Thursday, October 20, 2016, 6 - 8 PM
WHERE: Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd Street, Room 509

How do we talk about, argue about, and even laugh and cry about gentrification? In this session, urbanist and artist Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani will discuss her most recent public art and dialogue project in Brooklyn, Intersection | Prospect Heights, in which exhibitions were curated at the supermarket and photographs and oral histories of a diner spurred much-needed conversation on this radically changing city.

In the aftermath of rapid and extensive displacement and development in the small neighborhood of Prospect Heights, this new project re-introduces stories and photographs from Bendiner-Viani’s neighborhood research of the early 2000s, to lift the veil of anonymity surrounding conversations on gentrification by grounding them in individual articulations of the value of places.

Embedding these stories throughout the neighborhood through a series of neighborhood “guidebooks” displayed in pop-up exhibitions at supermarkets, libraries, bars and dry cleaners, while also leading performative guided tours, hosting community “Place Conversations” and panel discussions with politicians and planners, and creating an ongoing oral history program at Brooklyn Public Library, the project created new prompts, and new spaces, for neighborhood conversation. In this session Bendiner-Viani will discuss the creation of the project, its ongoing life, and her approach to using art, design and oral history research to create space for dialogue in contested city spaces.