Features | History Design Studio


Insurgent Maternity: The Soledad Mothers in the Radical Black Prison Movement

Anna Wexler
July 1, 2019

Fleeta Drumgo, John Clutchette and George Jackson became known as the Soledad Brothers after they were accused of murdering the guard John Mills in the California State Prison of that name in early 1970. Their mothers, Mrs. Inez Williams, Mrs. Doris Maxwell, and Mrs. Georgia Jackson, respectively, acted quickly by protesting the illegal railroading and physically punitive measures, notably chaining, taken against their sons who were targeted as militant Black prisoners responding to the racism of the U.S. penal system.

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HDS Exhibition 2019: Footprints Across Time - Meet the Designers

History Design Studio
June 18, 2019

Portraits of those whose stories made the exhibition possible. The voices behind each of the projects in the gallery are as varied as they are distinct, yet each has come to the History Design Studio with what has emerged as a shared mission: to communicate to wider publics stories that exceed the written form. For each of these designers, multimedia forms were the key to honing their message, expanding their narrative approaches, and reaching wider audiences. We are humbled to have witnessed their growth throughout the year and celebrate their collective debut in the Neil L. and Angelica Zander Rudenstine Gallery.

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Maps, Stones & Plants: Agents of Empire and the Ecology of the Atlantic Trade

Tim Weiskel
May 1, 2019

As archaeologists across the world repeatedly affirm, human groups leave enduring traces of their labor and behavior in the sands and sediments of time. Some of these traces are monumental in scale. Like the Great Wall of China or the Egyptian Pyramids they are "written in stone." In fact, many of these structures are now visible from satellites in space. By contrast, other traces are smaller than the human eye can see and can only be viewed through a microscopic examination of plant pollen and biological residues in topsoil and sediments.

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Black Veterans Reading List: Book Covers Collage

Ron E. Armstead
February 18, 2019

​​Ron E. Armstead, drawing from his decades-long experience with the ​​Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Veterans Braintrust, has compiled the following collage of book covers for Black History Month. The theme? Essential and Recommended Readings on Black contributions to the U.S. military. The sheer volume of material is itself a powerful testament to what should no-longer be a contestable fact: Black veterans were critical forces in U.S. military history.

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New T-Shirt Line Says "Thank You" to Black History Makers, Pledges No More Hidden Figures

Veronica Chapman, Stephanie Campbell
November 26, 2018

How often have you learned about a historic accomplishment made by a Black person in America and wondered, why am I just now hearing about this? The answer is because it’s by design. As some U.S. corporations and politicians distort American history by either misrepresenting actual events or altogether omitting the contributions of marginalized people from textbooks and public school curriculums, new apparel company Thank You Tees is returning the power to educate to the people.

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Cochabamba: The First Water War of the 21st Century

Anselmo Cassiano
November 2, 2018

Water is a vital element of human life, and is a limited resource. Today, only 3% of the available water of the earth is used for human consumption. 2 billion people don’t have access to clean water, and every 20 seconds a child dies due to complications from not having clean water. Half of the beds in hospitals are in use due to illness related to not having access to clean water. Water could be considered the blue gold of the 21st century.

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Feminist Killmojis: Discursive Affect as Resistance

Raechel Anne Jolie
September 17, 2018

This project is an extension of Feminist Killjoys, PhD, a podcast that emerged in the spirit of Sara Ahmed’s theory of killing joy as a necessary component of feminist praxis. Ahmed suggests that harkening back to early feminist “consciousness-raising” (as well as to Marxist notions of “false consciousness”) is a useful (re)turn in order to make sense of our contemporary cultural desire for happiness. Ahmed argues that the happy housewife is the foil to the construct of the “angry black woman” or, she posits, the “feminist killjoy.” That is, the feminist who ruins a good time by speaking about injustice, inequality, their dire position as women, and so on. She writes:

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What Remains: A London Design Biennale Exhibition

Somali Architecture
September 16, 2018

What remains when the war ends? Ruins preserve histories that are often forgotten. In the face of conflict and destruction, ruins are proof that there was something before the wreckage, before the war, and before the painful emotions they now evoke. Not all ruins are the same; some buildings remain standing despite attempts to turn them into rubble. They are manifestations of people’s indestructible hope, resilience, and survival.

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Diagrams of Power

OCAD University
July 11 to September 29, 2018

Group exhibition featuring work by Joshua Akers, The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, Josh Begley, Joseph Beuys, Vincent Brown, Bureau d'études, Department of Unusual Certainties, W. E. B. Du Bois, Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, Forensic Architecture, Iconoclasistas, Julie Mehretu, Lize Mogel, Ogimaa Mikana, Margaret Pearce, Laura Poitras, Philippe Rekacewicz and Visualizing Impact

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