In a Letter to MoMA’s Director, Activists Declare Plan to Protest Inside Museum
The activists plan to escalate their weekly protests against the Museum of Modern Art with a tour throughout midtown Manhattan next week.by Hakim Bishara
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For the past three weeks, activists have gathered every Friday at a plaza across from the Museum of Modern Art to demand a “post-MoMA future” wherein the interests of communities are prioritized over the desires of billionaire museum donors. These protests, called “pop-up deoccupations” in the activists’ parlance — have so far been tame, focusing on “speakouts” and performances while keeping a measured distance from the museum’s entrance. But this might change next Friday, April 30, as the activists plan to escalate their protests and bring them into MoMA’s halls.
During the latest weekly gathering at Manhattan’s Urban Plaza on Friday, April 23, about 35 activists split into groups to read a letter they had sent earlier in the day to MoMA’s director, Glenn Lowry. In the letter, the coalition of artist-activist groups called the International Imagination of Anti-National Anti-Imperialist Feelings (IIAAF) notified the museum of its intention to protest on its grounds next week.
“We are writing to notify you that on Friday, April 30, a group of students, scholars, artists, community organizers, and former MoMA workers intend to conduct a self-organized tour of Midtown, including the interior of MoMA,” the letter reads.
The planned tour, titled “The Ruins of Modernity: From the City to the Museum,” will begin at Manhattan’s Columbus Circle at 3pm next Friday and end at MoMA around 5pm. In between, the protesters will make stops at several nearby locations: Rockefeller Center; the headquarters of BlackRock, an investment company owned by MoMA trustee Larry Fink; the Ford Foundation; the NYC Police Foundation; “Billionaires Row,” a concentration of ultra-luxury residential skyscrapers at the southern end of Central Park; and the MoMA Tower next to the museum. At each stop, readings and activations will be held to highlight the connection between these sites and the exploitation of communities, according to the organizers.