Port Huron Project

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The Port Huron Project, is a series of six reenactments of protest speeches from the New Left movements of the 1960s and '70s. Each event takes place at the site of the original speech, and is delivered by a performer to an audience of invited guests and passers-by. Videos, audio recordings, and photographs of these performances are presented in various venues and distributed online and on DVD as open-source media.

Previous Reenactments[edit]

Port Huron Project 1: Until the Last Gun Is Silent [1] The first reenactment took place on September 16, 2006 and was based on a speech given by Coretta Scott King at a peace march in Central Park on April 27, 1968, approximately three weeks after her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated. The speech, which was based on notes found in Dr. King's pockets, addresses the war in Vietnam, domestic poverty, and the power of women to effect social change. Gina Brown, a New York-based actor and former welfare mother, delivered the speech.

Port Huron Project 2: The Problem Is Civil Obedience [2]

Matthew Floyd Miller on the Boston Common in July, 2007 reenacting a speech by Howard Zinn.

The second event in the series took place on July 14, 2007. It was based on a speech originally delivered by author and activist Howard Zinn at a peace march on Boston Common on May 5, 1971. In this speech, Zinn defended the use of civil disobedience to protest the war in Vietnam and called on Congress to impeach the president and vice president of the United States for the "high crime" of "making war on the peasants of Southeast Asia."

Port Huron Project 3: We Must Name the System [3]

Max Bunzel delivering an antiwar speech by Paul Potter.

The third reenactment was staged near the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C on July 26, 2007. The original speech was given at the April 17, 1965 March on Washington To End the War in Vietnam by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) President Paul Potter. Potter offered an insightful critique of our government’s use of the rhetoric of freedom to justify war, and calls for citizens of the United States to create a massive social movement to build a “democratic and humane society in which Vietnams are unthinkable.”

Selection criteria for the Port Huron Project include identifying New Left protest speeches, finding transcripts and/or recordings, and determining the locations in which specific speeches were given. Attention is given to speeches that were delivered at protests or demonstrations in public spaces and address issues of peace and social justice.

Upcoming Reenactments[edit]

Part of Creative Time's 2008 public art initiative Democracy in America: The National Campaign

Port Huron Project 4: We Are Also Responsible [4]

Based on a 1971 speech by César Chávez at 6:00 PM, Saturday, July 19, 2008 at South Lawn, Exposition Park, Los Angeles Presented by Creative Time [5] with Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) [6]

Port Huron Project 5: The Liberation of Our People [7]

Based on a 1969 speech by Angela Davis at 6:00 PM, Saturday, August 2, 2008 at DeFremery Park, Oakland Presented by Creative Time [8] with the Oakland Museum of California [9]

Port Huron Project 6: Let Another World Be Born

Based on a 1967 speech by Stokely Carmichael at 6:00 PM, Sunday, September 7, 2008 Adjacent to the United Nations, NYC Presented by Creative Time [10]

The Artist[edit]

The Port Huron Project is organized by Mark Tribe, an artist and curator whose interests include art, technology, and politics. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. Tribe is the co-author, with Reena Jana, of New Media Art (Taschen, 2006). His art work has been exhibited at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, and Gigantic Art Space in New York City. He has organized curatorial projects for the New Museum of Contemporary Art, MASS MoCA, and inSite_05. In 1996, Mark founded Rhizome, an online resource for new media artists, and he now chairs Rhizome's board of directors. He received an MFA in Visual Art from the University of California, San Diego in 1994 and a BA in Visual Art from Brown University in 1990.

A team of five Brown University students assisted Tribe in the summer of 2007. These students received funding from the Karen T. Romer Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards, Brown University. General funding for the project was provided by Office of the Vice President for Research, Brown University and the Department of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University.


External links[edit]

  • Official website
  • Brown University department of Modern Culture and Media [11]
  • Howard Zinn's 1971 speech [12]
  • Paul Potter's 1965 speech [13]