‘Say Their Names’ installation at The Public Theater honors Black lives lost to police brutality

November 9, 2020

Photo by Peter Cooper

The Public Theater will debut this week a new art installation that honors Black American lives lost to police brutality. Starting November 11, the facade of the East Village theater will display “SAY THEIR NAMES,” a visual exhibit that includes at least 2,200 names of Black people killed at the hands of police between 2013 and 2020. Curated by Garlia Cornelia Jones, the projection covers the entire building at 425 Lafayette and features work by ten artists.

As part of the “SAY THEIR NAMES,” display, artist Dáreece Walker’s From Ferguson to Baltimore and Tylonn J. Sawyer’s Pietà will be featured. All of the artists in the installation, designed by Lucy Mackinnon and Brian McMullen, responded to the same prompt:

For centuries, the murders of Black Americans have been overlooked, covered up, and disregarded.
We invite you to remember.
We invite you to honor.
We invite you to Say Their Names.

In an artist statement, Jones called the installation a “panoramic view of Black lives killed by the police between 2013 and present day 2020,” which features 2,000 names.

“This list might be out of date the moment that you see it because another murder will have occurred: because another Black person will have been senselessly shot, tased, brutalized, merely because they were Black; because their existence and their Blackness was an assumed threat to the police officer they encountered, no matter the equation of their meeting,” Jones wrote.

The installation will be on display each night starting November 11 through December 5, from 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.


Photos by Peter Cooper

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