Monument dedicated to Kalief Browder

GSD

2017 Studio

supr. Emanuel Christ & Christoph Gantenbein

Monument

IMG_6737 copy.jpg
The Monument

The life of Kalief Browder ended on June 6, 2013. Torment in the infamous Ricker Island prison had proved to be too much for any 22-year-old to bear and after 2 years of fighting for his justice, he took his own life in his home in Bronx New York. The case of Kalief Browder is one of many that reveals the problems of the criminal justice system in the States; one that disproportionally undermines the underprivileged and people of color. Kalief is not just an isolated case, and this monument will become a testimony to the legacy of his strive.

Separated by the Anacostia River; On one side stands one of the poorest and most racially divided neighborhood in DC; On the other the Correctional Service Complex and the Central Detention Facility. Despite of all the love we have for our great cities, they are still recovering from the racial covenant and a bigoted real estate sales practice that keep us divide, which effect remains visible these days. 

Located at the threshold of these confrontation, this monument is not just a celebration of the life of a man who stands for his cause, but also a constant reminder of the division that still keep us apart. This monument takes on the forms of a bridge. A symbol of connection and reconciliation, but also a viewing plane of the drudgery we had overcome. It nests itself among the other statues and memorial in the network of avenues that was first visioned by L’Enfant two centuries ago. 

From the opposite side of the river, it stands unreachable and distant. Like this society we are living in, the gaps between different groups has never been larger. This monument is only a pillar of change, and hopefully one day, it will bring the two sides of the River together.

The Monument

The life of Kalief Browder ended on June 6, 2013. Torment in the infamous Ricker Island prison had proved to be too much for any 22-year-old to bear and after 2 years of fighting for his justice, he took his own life in his home in Bronx New York. The case of Kalief Browder is one of many that reveals the problems of the criminal justice system in the States; one that disproportionally undermines the underprivileged and people of color. Kalief is not just an isolated case, and this monument will become a testimony to the legacy of his strive.

Separated by the Anacostia River; On one side stands one of the poorest and most racially divided neighborhood in DC; On the other the Correctional Service Complex and the Central Detention Facility. Despite of all the love we have for our great cities, they are still recovering from the racial covenant and a bigoted real estate sales practice that keep us divide, which effect remains visible these days. 

Located at the threshold of these confrontation, this monument is not just a celebration of the life of a man who stands for his cause, but also a constant reminder of the division that still keep us apart. This monument takes on the forms of a bridge. A symbol of connection and reconciliation, but also a viewing plane of the drudgery we had overcome. It nests itself among the other statues and memorial in the network of avenues that was first visioned by L’Enfant two centuries ago. 

From the opposite side of the river, it stands unreachable and distant. Like this society we are living in, the gaps between different groups has never been larger. This monument is only a pillar of change, and hopefully one day, it will bring the two sides of the River together.

Story of Kelief Browder
THE ARREST

On May 15, 2010, Browder and a friend were apprehended by police on Arthur Avenue near East 186th Street in the Bronx for allegedly stealing a backpack. The bail was 10,000 dollars.

Image: American television miniseries

Image: American television miniseries

Image: American television miniseries

He was brutally attacked by prison guards and other inmates while all of these scenes are being recorded. His court day has delayed 31 times. He plead “not guilty” on all court appearance. At the end he was freed in anticipation of the dismissal of the charges against him.

Ricker Island

Image: American television miniseries

Image: American television miniseries

After Browder’s death, the city ended solitary confinement for people younger than 21, and announced a plan to move 16- and 17-year-olds out of Rikers Island.

Millions March NYC 2017

Image: American television miniseries

During the 1100 days in Ricker, 800 of those are in solitary confinement. He attempted suicide 6 times.

The Broken Axis D.C.

80-100%

0-20%

20-40%

40-60%

60-80%

“How Racially Restricted Housing”, in Mapping Segregation in Washington DC (Prologue DC, 2017)

1930

Black Population

1940

1950

1960

1970

Census data from 1930 to 70

DC_BLPopDen_2 sq-02.png

Median Income

DC_BLPopDen_2 sq-01.png

Black Population

Census Tracts by Population Change - 2000, Open Data DC, 2017

Massachusetts Avenue remains the only major avenue that is discontinuous, also separating the neighbour hood on two side of the river, Ward 6 and 7

Ward 6
Ward 7
Ward 6

White 49%
Black 41% 
Hispanic 4%
Asian 4% 

Massachusetts Avenue

Massachusetts Avenue

Ward 7

Black 94%
White 1% 
Hispanic 2% 

700 ft

John Philip Sousa Bridge

1000 ft

Whitney Young Memorial Bridge

Ward 6

Correctional Service 

Congressional Cemetery

Wibble Wobble Child 
Development Center

St Coletta of 
Greater Washington

Emergency 
Psychiatric Service

Re-entry 
& Sanctions Center

DC Central
Detention Facility

Correctional 
Treatment Facility

Alcohol Prevention
& Recovery

Homes For Hope

Therapeutic Recreation Service

Ward 7

Rehab Services

Design
IMG_6560 copy2.jpg
IMG_6755 copy.jpg
IMG_6824 copy.jpg
IMG_6944 copy.jpg