Call for Nominations for Landslide 2024: Demonstration Grounds

“I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” ― James Baldwin 

The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has opened a call for nominations for Landslide, the foundation’s annual thematic report about threatened and at-risk landscapes. Landslide 2024: Demonstration Grounds will focus on sites associated with demonstrations and movements. 

In a departure from past reports, Landslide 2024: Demonstration Grounds  will draw immediate and lasting attention to those sites where people have gathered to take a stand against injustices, whose histories and stories are at risk of being forgotten. While such sites may not face physical threats, the stories associated with each are in danger of fading from public memory. 

Selma, Stonewall, Washington, D.C. – these are among many places readily associated with demonstrations and movements that have changed and shaped the course of American history. Indelible images of marches and sit-ins with gatherings of civil rights advocates, suffragettes, Native peoples, farm workers, and coal miners are inseparable from the places where they occurred. And they all are intertwined with the uniquely American First Amendment “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” 

Selma to Montgomery March, Selma AL, 1965 - Photo by Peter Pettus, courtesy Library of Congress

Since our origins as a nation, people have leveraged our democratic public open spaces to take a stand against injustices whether they be social, cultural, political, environmental, economic, or racial. Each demonstration site has a power of place and an authenticity because it is the place where it happened. And each is embedded with environmental and cultural characteristics that provide visual and sensory links that heighten the visitor experience: “witness trees” that survive from the time of the demonstration and may have offered protection and shelter; the height of the sun on that very same day generations later; the dampness of the ground plane; or, the sound of a passing train. 

Take Back the Night Protest, Duke University, Durham, NC, 1991 - Photo courtesy Duke University Archives

These multiple associations are waiting to be unlocked at almost every historic property or cultural landscape that has served as a demonstration site. This includes public parks and open spaces that today are known principally for their design history or designers but should also be recognized as those places where significant cultural events were staged. These spaces also include rural agricultural landscapes and academic, governmental, and cultural campuses. Cultural landscapes have served as a stage for events ranging from humble to heroic including speeches, poetry, protests, marches, pickets, vigils, art installations, and performances, and each has a story to tell.  Individually and collectively, they provide an extraordinary perspective on what it means to live and participate in a democracy.  

Nominate a site to Landslide 2024: Demonstration Grounds by completing the form below and emailing it to Nord Wennerstrom at nord@tclf.org by June 15, 2024.

>Download the Nomination Form