Schwartz, Danielle Nicole
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Recently, a climate of fear and intolerance has come to the fore and is detrimental to our societal well-being. As democratic values have been attacked, there has also been a return to the use of the public landscape as a site of protest and political action. Now, the design of public space and the effectiveness of activist movements have become concerns catapulted to the national stage. Though state-sponsored memorials and monuments contain political value, they have also been sites of institutionalized oppression that are reductivist in nature. On the part of activism, it can be intimidating and exclusionary in practice despite its goals of equality and justice. It is the responsibility of the designer not to be complicit with the status quo. As methods of representation and communication evolve, this thesis aims to show that landscape architects can play a significant role in re-conceptualizing memorial and activist forms.