Arts and Humanities
Judith F. Baca, artist, educator, scholar/activist, and community arts pioneer, University of California, Los Angeles, explores an idea that is deceptively simple: the land has memory. She articulates this idea as much through images as words; indeed, images form the spine of the argument, specifically photographs of a mural along a flood control channel in the San Fernando Valley. Baca created this Great Wall of Los Angeles with people hungry to know forgotten histories of their land and inscribe them for the future. Each of these images excavates another layer of a complex story. Baca gives form to monuments that rise out of neighborhoods, rather than being imposed upon them. She and the people who live there co-create art works that become “sites of public memory,” as she vividly describes in these pages.
This publication is based on the keynote Baca delivered at Imagining America’s 2008 national conference, Public Engagement in a Diverse America: Layers of Place, Movements of People.
Baca, Judith F., "La Memoria de Nuestra Tierra: Sites of Public Memory" (2008). Imagining America. Paper 5.