/reconstructions dec 12 '16
Public Site Proposal Guiding Principles - Reconstructions Atmosphere
The following is a set of guiding principles for the Reconstructions Atmosphere. These principles are meant to guide our Atmosphere throughout its life and in all of its manifestations, irrespective of changes to its goals, strategies, or actions. They are applicable to urgencies/issues and the project's proposed public sites. The principles also help to answer questions about the relationship of our public sites to the project, to the city, and to the Museum.
1. Philadelphia is known as the birthplace of American Democracy. It is the home of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. In order to live out a truer meaning of these ideals, truth, reconciliation and healing are imperative. [Quote: There are untold stories hidden deep in the soil, and it is making us sick]. We believe in a two-pronged (dual) approach to social change and to our two urgencies--mass incarceration, gentrification and displacement--internal and external. Two, but not two: transforming/ examining/challenging self AND system, self and environment, self and other, as inseparable. Further we prefer to view events in time on a continuum; more circular or spherical than linear. Past as prologue. This is not a fatalistic view. We are hopeful that our actions in the present can create a better future for all. We will:
• Determine which systems of thought form the basis of relevant economic or political theory and policy, i.e. benign neglect.
• Explore the experiences, histories, challenges and examples of resilience in all, especially marginalized groups. ( Ghosts). Study the historical conditions, events, triumphs and tragedies of resilient communities .
• Examine the ways in which our own systems of belief, attitudes and behaviors have impacted, or have been impacted by these issues. Personal is political. Explore ways to create empathy, self-transformation and healing.
• Re-imagine, Re-narrate and Re-educate our communities. Help the community to develop creative ways to express/represent/make visible their realities and possibilities.
• Develop Action steps to disrupt the status quo and help to support/ sustain these communities.
2. Philadelphia is known as the City of Brotherly Love (and Sisterly Affection). We are mindful of ways that we can include, welcome, and embrace EVERYONE and all forms of life. The iconic statue in LOVE Park is known all over the world.
3. The Philadelphia Museum of Art can be viewed as a Citadel on the Hill; a place where Eurocentric ideas about art and culture are held in high esteem, a symbol of patriarchy, white supremacy, and global capitalism. At the same time, the site of the museum, near the convergence of two rivers, is evocative of Sacred Space. Indigenous peoples inhabited the Delaware Valley for 10,000 years before the arrival of William Penn. Philadelphia was called Shackamaxon, Lennapehoking (The Place where the Kings Meet in the Land of the Elders of Humanity). The Lenni Lanape are the Grandfather Clan of the Algonquin, Descendants of the Mississippi Mound Builders. We envision that the museum holds a special place in the geomancy of the city; situated as it is on the Ley lines of the planet. It may be the site of an ancient mound (Fair-Mount) of Indigenous Peoples (Algonquin). We intend to use this mystical imagery to reimagine the museum as a place to cultivate a spirit of Humanity. In this way, our public sites, the neighborhood of Tioga, Independence Hall, and Penn Treaty Park, to name a few examples, can be viewed in a similar light.