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 Featured Title
Speaking for a Long Time
Public Space and Social Memory in Vancouver
Adrienne L. Burk  

$87.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 5/12/2010
ISBN: 978-0-7748-1698-4    

$34.95 Paperback
Release Date: 1/1/2011
ISBN: 978-0-7748-1699-1    

212 Pages


About the Book

In the late 1990s, three monuments -- Crab Park Boulder, Marker of Change and Standing with Courage, Strength and Pride -- were built in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Located within a few city blocks of one another, the monuments were grassroots initiatives that challenged the norms of civic art by claiming a place in public space for society’s more vulnerable groups, and each figured in debates about many kinds of violence.

Speaking for a Long Time offers unique insights into the creation of memorials and the multiple, often contested meanings that can be attached to them in local communities. Part 1, "Act," explores the monuments’ origin stories and highlights the distinctive perspectives of their founders. Part 2, "Frame," places these narratives in the context of modern debates and theories on public space and social memory. Part 3, "Forge," returns to the Downtown Eastside to show how the resilience and agency of grassroots activists can give the socially marginalized a visible presence in our urban landscapes.

This vivid account of the creation of memory-scapes in a marginalized community asks us to reconsider what constitutes public art that will "speak for a long time." It will appeal not only to students and scholars of sociology, geography, anthropology, and BC history but also to artists, activists, and community planners.

About the Author(s)

Adrienne L. Burk is a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University.

Table of Contents


Part 1: Act
Marker of Change/ Ŕ l’aube du changement
CRAB Park Boulder
Standing with Courage, Strength and Pride

Part 2: Frame
Public Space, Social Order and Visibility
Memory: Blending the Personal and the Social
Monuments: Permanence and Memory
A Geographic Sensibility

Part 3: Forge
Continuousness of the Issue
Acknowledging the Unseen
Consolidating Claims of Community
Design Features
Street Smarts
Proposition: A Politics of Visibility



"The tragedy at École Polytechnique that took the lives of our daughter Anne-Marie Edward and her engineering school companions, and the ongoing tragedy of the murder of Aboriginal women, have changed our collective social consciousness about violence against women. Adrienne Burk’s beautiful and sensitive account of three commemoration sites in Vancouver dedicated to women murdered by men is a case in point, written with extraordinary insight. Speaking for a Long Time will indeed speak for a long time."
-- Suzanne Laplante-Edward

"What is the meaning of public monuments? In seeking answers to this innocuous-seeming question, Adrienne Burk has produced a fascinating study of urban space, social memory and community history. Burk is not an academic who remains in the ivory tower; the value of her book is that she is down on the sidewalk: observing, talking, recording, reflecting."
-- Daniel Francis, Vancouver historian, author, and editor of the Encyclopedia of British Columbia

"Sexual warfare, unlike class warfare or monuments to world wars, rarely has a public monument. Speaking for a Long Time elaborates on how social monuments can amplify the voices of murdered women everywhere so that society can no longer stand the overwhelming sounds of grief and rage and is forced to change. This book is a powerful clarification of the crucial role of social art for women in public spaces."
-- Ellen Woodsworth, Vancouver City Councillor and cofounder of Breaking the Silence of Violence Against Women in the Downtown Eastside

Sample Chapter

Front Matter and Chapter One

Related Topics

Women's Studies
Urban Studies

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Speaking for a Long Time from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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