'Protector Monuments Reclaim the Pedestal': a Public Art Campaign Explores the Intersection of Storytelling, Art & Activism

As the conversations and activism around monuments grow louder, I Am Your Protector is asking people to reimagine what monuments should depict, emulate, and be celebrated with five life-sized monuments of refugees, immigrants, and minorities from around the world. Launching in NYC, but traveling to cities nationally, these monuments - created by Staten Island Joe Reginella (coined the 'Banksy of Monuments' in the New York Times )- are meant to spark the public to share protector stories from their own communities.

Protector Monument of a New York Hero

In partnership with the artist Joe Reginella, known as "The Banksy of Monuments", I Am Your Protector provokes a new vision of who should get placed on pedestals with an exhibition of five life-size monuments. The monuments represent 5 protector stories that have brought people together across lines of perceived divide (religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc.). The art installation, which will travel across the country to different cities in the United States, is debuting in New York City's Union Square Thursday September 30th, featuring monuments of: 

  • A Syrian refugee who saved a drowning man from freezing water in Amsterdam
  • A 24-year-old Muslim student who led efforts to distribute free clean drinking water in Flint Michigan
  • A New Yorker who saved a man who fell on the train tracks
  • The Jewish security patrol who protected London Mosques against anti-muslim hate crimes
  • An undocumented Mexican immigrant who saved a 6-year-old from being abducted. 
  • An empty pedestal for the public to stand, take photos, and tell protector stories from personal, family, or community experiences. 

Event Details

September 30, 2021

8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Northwest corner of Union Square

Free to the public 

  • The public will be able to read each protector's story via plaques on each monument and can access the website through QR codes to read more stories of marginalized people and their courageous acts. They will also be encouraged to share a story of courage and compassion.
  • An empty pedestal will be available for anyone to stand on to share their protector story.
  • A videographer will be on hand to capture the storytelling that happens that day, and the IAYP team will be reviewing stories for an opportunity to feature them on future Reclaim The Pedestal pop-up installations. 

About I Am Your Protector:

I Am Your Protector is a non-profit organization + community of people who speak up and stand up for each other especially across lines of perceived divide to change the way people perceive the "other" through performative art & activism. IAYP has reached over 4 million people and was invited to join President Obama at the Obama summit as Civic Leaders for the impact of its work in deconstructing hate.

The Artist:

Joe Reginella, dubbed "Banksy of Monuments", is an artist and sculptor from Staten Island who's known for his renegade art projects and social experiments.

The Producer:

Dani Laurence was born a political refugee from Hungary in Switzerland, lived in the Middle East and Paris and is the founder and Co-Director of I Am Your Protector. 

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW:

• The protectors whose stories are reflected on the monuments 

• Dani Laurence

• Aziz Abu Sarah, Co-Director of I Am Your Protector (Will be at event) 

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Source: I am Your Protector

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Categories: General Interest, Arts and Entertainments

Tags: activism, art, BIPOC, immigrants, monuments, POC, refugees, Sculptures, storytelling, streetart