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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Speaking for a Long Time

Public Space and Social Memory in Vancouver

In the late 1990s, Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside became the setting for three monuments – Crab Park Boulder, Marker of Change, and Standing with Courage, Strength and Pride. The monuments were grassroots initiatives that challenged the norms of civic art by claiming a place in public space for society’s most vulnerable groups, and each figured in debates about many kinds of violence. Emphasizing the resilience and agency of artists, activists, and residents, this vivid account of the creation of memory-scapes offers unique insights into the links between power, public space, and social memory. It asks us to reconsider what constitutes public art that will “speak for a long time.”

212 pages

Table of Contents


Part 1: Act

Marker of Change/ À l’aube du changement

CRAB Park Boulder

Standing with Courage, Strength and Pride

Part 2: Frame

Public Space, Social Order and Visibility

Memory: Blending the Personal and the Social

Monuments: Permanence and Memory

A Geographic Sensibility

Part 3: Forge

Continuousness of the Issue

Acknowledging the Unseen

Consolidating Claims of Community

Design Features

Street Smarts

Proposition: A Politics of Visibility



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