“Chitra Ganesh A City Will Share Her Secrets if You Know How to Ask” Brooklyn Rail, April 2021

As this year’s QUEERPOWER commission, Chitra Ganesh has filled 10 panels of Leslie Lohman’s façade with images of queer activism, joy, and meditations on history, possibility, and gentrification. As the title indicates, the city, New York, is the subject matter under investigation and, indeed, Ganesh provides a plethora of urban landscapes—a skyline, several park scenes, an African burial ground, and sketches of traditional Lenape settlements and Seneca Village. With this historical sweep, Ganesh acknowledges that New York is on unceded Lenape territory, was embedded in the slave trade and the displacement of Black communities, and had an eerie quality under lockdown and curfew in 2020. This is not just a history lesson, it also speaks to Ganesh’s investment in archives and commitment to foregrounding the ways that the city itself is implicated in the lives and histories of BIPOC.

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