In 1985 Philadelphia police dropped a military-grade explosive device on a residential building, killing 11 people, including 5 children. The attack was intended to end a standoff with the black militant group known as MOVE, yet it succeeded only in setting a new standard for institutionalized violence and the dehumanization of black bodies. “Target: Philadephia” explores how the development of black nationalism coincided with the rise of modern police militarization, creating the systemic disenfranchisement that incubates movements like Black Lives Matter.
After the bombing of Hiroshima, the United States Army, eager for new ways to weaponize atomic power, engaged in a series of classified open-air studies, which were designed to test the effects of aerosol radiation in a metropolitan setting. At first, the tests were described as defensive, the latest strategy against the threat of Russian bombers.

But as later declassified documents suggest the goal of the testing, done primarily in the African-American, low-income neighborhoods of North St. Louis, was to develop offensive capabilities which could match the climate and terrain of downtown Moscow. Consequently, generations of St. Louis inhabitants were unwitting participants in a government testing program, which like the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Project, was facilitated by the U.S. Department of Public Health.

Target: St. Louis © investigates the catalyst for these events, the survivor’s quest for answers and the subsequent Federal legislation requiring informed consent by human subjects.

COMING SOON 

A Worker's Lunch Box , is a research project and film installation at the Slough cultural center in Philadelphia, exploring the role of the factory worker and the importance of urban manufacturing. The installation is part of an on-going project by curator and urbanist Nina Rappaport, author of Vertical Urban Factory (Actar 2016).

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Western Independent