Monumentalizing Community

As traditional monuments across the nation are torn down to denounce the racist and colonial histories they represent, Skywatchers creates Monumentalizing Community, a living monument emerging from our common values to reveal histories less told.

Those human-made shrines
to the myth of single heroes
to patriarchy
to white supremacy
cut off from their roots
in the network of humanity
those artifacts
must come down
stone reminders of
humanity’s evil
stand in our public spaces
silent exoneration
of hate crimes unabated
on our city streets…

-Anne Bluethenthal

Monumentalizing Community is response a to a moment in time—in solidarity with the uprising in support of the Movement for Black Lives after the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and more,
we ask what else could be monumentalized? and we imagine a new monument.

Originally created for in person performance, the final dress rehearsal of Monumentalizing Community was filmed by Skywatchers collaborator, Irene Gustafson, so we could share it during the COVID-19 pandemic. Monumentalizing Community is set to a sound score by jose e. abad featuring the music of the Black Monument Ensemble.

I am tearing me down for they have rusted
and the generations is stained.
I take a knee that my child might hear my heart
so that she never die from silence,
But break her neck gazing up at the reflection of the ancestors off my crown.
As I have planted seed in pale earth and embrace her fruit
let these multiple shades of Love continue to unfurl our banner.
We fly rooted but untethered.

To be that living monument is to never deny any life.
A breathing link I am
The temple continues to grow as I am flown unto the foundations to elevate my birthed as I
remain a pillar with my brethren..

Yea though I walk through the valley of my faults,
I will fear no correction
For I stand on the backs of their sins and I’m still seen with love as I have done in the midst of
their iniquities,
So my bronze may still shine
and I smile and progress’

-Excerpt from “Living Monument” by Joel Yates