Blocks Away: Civic Action or Civil Disobedience

Why are some citizens more motivated than others to take action against injustice? Why are some forms of activism sanctioned as civic action or civic engagement while others are condemned as interruptions of civic life?

Over the past two years, Kate Eichorn, assistant professor of culture and media studies at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts, has been exploring these questions with students and visiting artists and writers. The project outcomes will be presented in a free event on Wednesday, February 23, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Lang Café, 65 West 11th Street, ground floor.

The event includes an exhibit documenting the public performance Blocks Away, created in collaboration with visiting writer Laura Elrick. Blocks Away responded to the recent controversy surrounding the proposed construction of a mosque and community center in Lower Manhattan. The exhibit is on display at the Skybridge Gallery, on the third-floor bridge between 11th and 12th Streets, until the end of March. It is supported by a Civic Learning and Civic Action Grant from the Spencer Foundation.

The short documentary The Civic in Question, will be also shown. Produced with student collaborators Amaya Keller (Lang) and Caroline Kao (The New School for Social Research), the film examines the concepts of civic engagement, civic education, and activism in the context of the university. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on art and activism with Laura Elrick; Radhika Subramaniam, the director and chief curator of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center; and Urban Studies faculty member Laura Liu.

For more information about this event, contact the Office of the Dean of Eugene Lang College at elcdean@newschool.edu.