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NYC's High Line Presents Chicago's Faheem Majeed's Freedom's Stand
Sep 08 – Sep 21, 2022
freedom's stand

Freedom’s Stand, a new commission by artist Faheem Majeed is on view through August 2023 on the High Line at 30th Street near the pathway to Hudson Yards in New York City. Freedom’s Stand displays two centuries of Black newspapers on a 15-foot-tall wooden structure.

Majeed’s Freedom’s Stand is an homage to the influential role of Black newspapers as historic sources of information dissemination, community representation, and cultural production. The Stand showcases a monthly rotation of headlines, articles, photographs, and advertisements from historical and contemporary Black American newspapers, such as the Chicago Defender from Chicago, Illinois and Nubian News from Trenton, New Jersey.

The 175 total newspaper images are displayed, over the course of the installation, on a 15-foot-tall open structure made of reclaimed wood and wood-composite panels, resembling two-dimensional images layered in space. The structure’s form was inspired by Dogon architecture of Mali and outmoded newspaper stands designs formerly found on the streets of Chicago and New York.

Freedom’s Stand is named after Freedom’s Journal, the first Black-owned and -operated newspaper in the United States, founded in 1827 in New York. The paper offered a counter-narrative to newspapers that marginalized and encouraged the enslavement of Africans.

In Freedom’s Stand, Majeed highlights how Black newspapers record history as it is made in the United States, sharing stories and perspectives that are often under- and misreported by mainstream media, even today. The work draws inspiration from a range of influential, community-driven work, including Chicago’s Wall of Respect and the Community Mural Movement, and emphasizes the importance of community-generated news and self-representation.

Majeed is an artist, professor, curator, and community facilitator. In 2016, he co-founded Floating Museum, an art collective that creates new models for exploring relationships between art, community, architecture, and public institutions. He also served as executive director and curator of the South Side Community Art Center in Chicago, the oldest African American art center in the US.

Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line was always intended to be more than a park. You can walk through gardens, view art, experience a performance, enjoy food and beverage, or connect with friends and neighbors all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City.

Nearly 100% of the High Line’s annual budget comes through donations. The High Line is owned by the City of New York and Friends of the High Line operate it under a license agreement with NYC Parks.
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