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Monuments of Compassion

Abstract

The term ‘monument of compassion' is introduced to describe the essential features of the Monument To Animals We Do Not Mourn, as well as other animal monuments. Installed in Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in New York, The Monument To Animals We Do Not Mourn is unconventional in its representation of a marginalized group (farm animals), its challenge to dominant cultural narratives concerning this group, its interactivity, and its atypical location. It is an artist-driven, dialogic monument of dissent, offering cemetery visitors the opportunity to consider the suffering of farm animals in the same space that they mourn their beloved companion animals. The monument extends compassion to farm animals and affirms their value as individual beings, worthy of a full and natural life. Visitors who resonate with the monument’s message are invited to leave a stone at its base. As the stones accumulate, they will be collected and used to create another monument of compassion for typically unmourned animals.

Published:
Pages:221 to 230
Section: Portfolio
How to Cite
Brant, L. (2020) “Monuments of Compassion”, The Journal of Public Space, 5(4), pp. 221-230. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1421.

Author Biography

Saybrook University
United States United States

Linda Brant is a practicing psychologist, artist, and educator based in Orlando, Florida. Through sculpture, photography, community-based and public art projects, Brant explores ways of honoring and memorializing animals, especially those that are not typically regarded as grievable. Brant’s work can be found in Margo DeMello’s text, Mourning Animals (2016) and in Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture (Summer 2017). She has received two creativity grants from the Culture & Animals Foundation, partnering with Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in New York to build a permanent monument dedicated To Animals We Do Not Mourn. In 2021 she curated an exhibit entitled 'Love and Loss Across Species Lines: The Neuroscience of Attachment,' at the Orlando Science Center in Florida. At this exhibit, Brant featured her All Species Memorial Project, consisting of nearly 100 personally decorated paper lanterns made by people across the world to honor of animals of their choosing.

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ISSN 2206-9658