By Patrick Offenheiser
This project will explore the effect of spatial environment and the architecture of monuments on historical memory, identity and violence, particularly focused on the context of the United States’ contemporary struggle with the invocation of Confederate icons in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. In order to reinforce the status quo of white supremacist orientation of policy and practice in mainstream American society these statues have been held up as symbols of heritage and historical meaning when in fact they were manufactured en masse almost half a century after the Civil War to terrify African Americans in the Jim Crow South and uphold the dominance of a political and social structure that empowered white Southerners while disenfranchising black Southerners at every turn.
Patrick Offenheiser is a filmmaker, editor and multimedia artist. Originally from Boston by way of Dhaka, Bangladesh and Lima, Peru, he graduated with a BA in Film & Electronic Arts and History from Bard College and went on to produce documentary work for non-profit organizations and television, focusing on marginalized and displaced communities, particularly in Latin America and the United States. In his work he pursues questions of memory, homeland and diaspora as well as cultural erasure and globalization. He is based in Brooklyn, New York.