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Follow the Data Podcast: Memorializing Loss, Injustice and History

Memorials, monuments, and art installations can challenge viewers to confront the history of the places where we live and work. They also offer a place to honor those lost, to reckon with racial and social justice movements, and to engage with communities in new and inclusive ways.

This is the first episode in a series about the new ways that artists and city leaders are thinking about the creation of memorials, monuments, and temporary public art.

The 9/11 Memorial in downtown Manhattan is one of the most recognized memorials around the world. It’s a beacon of hope, a tribute to those lost, and a place of learning to ensure future generations never forget. It’s also become a leader in offering consulting to other cities and countries grappling with the challenge of commemorating loss to mass tragedy, and in working with communities around the world afflicted by terrorism and violence.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ founder, Mike Bloomberg, was elected mayor of New York City just weeks after September 11, 2001, and currently serves as Chairman of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.  During his administration, Mike Bloomberg, Governor George Pataki, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation co-created an international competition for a memorial to remember and honor those lost on September 11th and in the attack on the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993.

This episode features Anita Contini, from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts team, who developed the process and implementation plan for selecting the winning design for the future 9/11 Memorial, including the jury process for choosing its architect. She sits down with Michael Arad, the architect selected to design the memorial. Anita and Michael discuss the process of designing the 9/11 Memorial, what influences his work on memorials, the role public spaces play in bringing people together, and some of his most recent projects.


You can listen to the podcast and past episodes in the following ways:


For more about the September 11 Memorial and Museum, we recommend: