Old Journals

November 20th, 2010 § 1 comment

This dissertation began somewhat unintentionally in 2001 with my first visit to the overflowing shrine at Union Square Park. This week I’m looking back at the early days of this research – remembering grief materialized in resplendent shrines, identifying the overlapping layers of material offerings and reading these temporary landscapes for evidence of an emerging narrative.

Union Square Park 2001

Union Square Park, September 17, 2001

Excerpt from my journal, dated September 17, 2001:

So much has happened the past few days.

Today I went to see & photograph the shrine at Union Square Park. The central monument is chalked up with messages of peace & hope. There are flower & candles everywhere. Construction has been halted. All concrete construction objects have been turned into ledges for candles. Caution tape has been turned into bows – very elaborately tied. Lamp posts are central points for shrines – the area is littered, covered with signs describing missing people.

I am reminded of religious altars in Haiti, Mexico & Guatemala. Lots of people making a deposit – putting a piece of themselves into a grand altar/memorial.


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