Outside/In is a three-part artist and community led walk that explores the struggle for DC statehood through national, civic, and community perspectives.
Artists from across the U.S. joined with DC activists and the public on Saturday, February 6, 2016, to walk and learn about this point of conflict impacting the 672,000 residents of our capital city, significant for anyone interested in the project of democracy.
Project collaborators and walk guides included Anise Jenkins, Executive Director, Stand Up! For Democracy in DC (Free DC), Shadow Senator Michael D. Brown, lifelong Washingtonian and civic leader Joyce Robinson Paul, and musician-activist Royal Height.
Outside/In asks: Whose experience of an issue is most authentic, holds authority? Who is outside and who is in – who speaks for whom when someone advocates a point of view on something that everyday people experience and that is also political?
Starting at Yoko Ono’s participatory work Wish Tree for Washington DC at the Hirshhorn Museum, walkers struck out across the National Mall, in view of the U.S. Capitol, site of power exercised over DC’s governance for 2+ centuries. Hearing from voices engaged with DC statehood for and against, our walk included spots on what would be the federal District boundary should New Columbia become a state; the John A. Wilson Building, locus of the DC municipal struggle for autonomy; and Freedom Plaza, where DC citizenry has gathered many times in resistance and protest for causes of justice.
Outside/In is a participatory work by Mary Clare Rietz, MFA thesis candidate at University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning, in close collaboration with members of the DC community, as part of College Art Association (CAA) 2016 Media Lounge.