In Professor Kyrill Kunakhovich’s history course on Nationalism, fellow Leonard Schmieding introduced students to the idea of counter-memorials, subversive monuments designed to challenge the historical narrative and to provoke the viewer.
Students learned about a contemporary counter-memorialization project in the city of Munich, where a local initiative produced postcards of popular historic monuments with “edits” that highlighted their ties to Germany’s colonial past. In response, students produced their own postcards exploring historic monuments at UVa and in the city of Charlottesville, and the histories they either glorify or suppress.
The resulting postcards covered topics ranging from the university’s connection to eugenics and slavery, to the local glorification of the explorers Lewis and Clark and monuments to the Confederacy.
Click here for a flickr album of photos from the presentation.