Coronavirus Crisis Update: Artist Suzanne Firstenberg – a Sea of 267,080 White Flags


Manage episode 279760990 series 1325257
By CSIS Global Health Policy Center | Center for Strategic and International Studies, CSIS Global Health Policy Center | Center for Strategic, and International Studies. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Steve and Andrew had the good fortune to catch Suzanne Firstenberg shortly after the recent conclusion of her stunning public art installation, ‘In America…. How could this happen?,’ a dramatic tribute to those lost to Covid-19. This “awakening,” comprised of 267, 080 white flags, stood on the parade grounds of the Washington DC National Guard Armory between October 23 and November 30. What motivated her to act so boldly, and how was it possible to succeed so rapidly, moving in just a few weeks from concept to creation? What were the key messages she was conveying, and what was the human experience of those who participated in it? As she explains, she could not do this alone. Several key partners joined with her, most notably Ruppert Landscaping and Jose Andres and World Central Kitchen. Others from the Smithsonian and National Geographic acted to preserve and capture this achievement.

Suzanne Firstenberg is a social action artist based in Bethesda, Maryland. Her installation was covered by National Geographic, among other outlets, and you can find a Nat Geo video of the installation here.

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