Urbanist and artist Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani discusses her recent book on the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA), the site of ICP’s new integrated center opening in January 2020.

Displacement and gentrification are rising concerns of our times, affecting cities across the country as well as in New York. As ICP prepares for its move to Essex Crossing in 2020, join us in learning about the complex stories and activist history surrounding urban displacement in the Lower East Side. This talk will be led by Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, an urbanist, artist, scholar, and the 2017 post-doctoral fellow in visual culture at ICP’s Center for Visual Culture. 

Through her work as an urban studies and public art professor at the New School, Bendiner-Viani has spent the last ten years investigating the land-history and community impact of an area of the city formerly known as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, now Essex Crossing. Bendiner-Viani will discuss her recent book, Contested City: Art and Public History as Mediation at New York’s Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, while shining light on strategies of community activism and the impact of collaborative public projects in urban spaces. 

This talk, held at Abrons Arts Center, will explore fifty years of community activism in the Lower East Side as well as consider the potential for an inclusive, lasting, future. 

Want more on this topic? Join us for the second part of this conversation as ICP explores how visual culture, gentrification, and displacement intersect and impact communities. Optics: The Visuals of Gentrification will be held at Abrons Arts Center on Wednesday, October 23 at 6:30 PM. 

This is a free event, but please register in advance. ICP Members have access to preferred seating in our reserved members’ section.

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Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani is an urbanist, curator, and artist practicing new modes of public arts, design, and urban research for community engagement, and is author of Contested City: Art and Public History as Mediation at New York's Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (University of Iowa Press, 2018). She is principal of the design and research studio Buscada and teaches urban studies and public art at the New School. She was a post-doctoral fellow in visual culture at the International Center of Photography and holds a PhD in environmental psychology from the Graduate Center, CUNY. She regularly consults with arts and culture organizations on community and art engagements and strategic visioning. Her creative practice has been shown at institutions including MIT, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Center for Architecture, Artists Alliance/Cuchifritos Gallery & Project Space, the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, and Tate Britain. Her work on cities, culture, and photography has appeared in journals, including Visual Studies, Urban Omnibus, Space and Culture, Society & Space, and Buildings & Landscapes. She lives in New York City.

Image: © Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani