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Have you seen me? A memorial to slavery.

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tags: slavery, racism



We in the United States and around the world still have not come to grips with the slave trade and its long-lasting effects. This project seeks to build a contemporary memorial to slavery called HAVE YOU SEEN ME?

Have You Seen Me? is a work of art that transforms the iconic 1980s “kid on the milk carton” missing person advocacy campaign into a memorial for Africans who were lost during the Slave Trade. 

This memorial to slavery depends on the involvement of a widespread group of people - not just for the funds to continue production, but for the housing of the bottles. The memorial is the network of bottles in our homes.

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During the 1980s independent dairy farmers in the US, created the “kid on the milk carton” campaign unaided by the U.S. government.


By putting the faces of real slaves on hand-crafted, archival, milk bottles, we are seeking to both repurpose the European obsession with pure white porcelain, as well as pay homage to the slave’s life – by attaching these precious images to a precious material we give the slave a dignified voice in a context historically unavailable to them.

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Through the display, reflection, and conversation of each bottle, the world's first crowd-sourced memorial to slavery will be born.

Have You Seen Me? is a memorial realized by individual action on a large scale. Like the historical milk containers it mimics, this artwork is intended for the domestic space where real, everyday people live.  

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Bottle photos submitted by individual project supporters.

Where Does My Money Go?

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Project budget overview shown in percentages of our stretch goal of $33,000.

After our Kickstarter is complete all bottles not chosen as backer rewards will be sold, along with the existing bottles pre-dating this campaign, for $400 on the project's main website. This is how the memorial will grow and be self sustaining.

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Farm No. 005, "Femo Farm", 2014, porcelain holloware
, 8.25” x 3.5” – Edition of 50
, Yoruba language of Nigeria (photo credit: Larry Rippel)

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Farm No. 004, "Green Dairy", 2014, Porcelain holloware, 9.125" x 3.75" Limited Edition of 50, Yoruba language of Nigeria. (photo credit: Larry Rippel)

Who Are The People On The Bottles?

While the dairy farms depicted on the bottles are fictional, the missing people on them are real. The portraits are derived from historical documents depicting real people who were captured into slavery.

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Wooden Yokes Used in Coffles, Senegal, ca. 1789; (detail) Image Reference LCP-16, by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library.

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Image Reference iln595c, by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library. Source: The Illustrated London News (June 20, 1857).

Why are we using Kickstarter?

To date, five unique editions (consisting of fifty bottles in each edition) of Have You Seen Me?bottles have been produced. 

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Porcelain bisqueware awaiting glaze fire 2014.

The process of making those 250 individual bottles (plus countless prototypes) has been cumbersome and costly as they were partially produced in the artist Alexi Morrissey’s studio in Pittsburgh, PA, and then transported as greenware to a professional ceramic facility where kiln-time was rented to complete the work. This inefficient and highly irregular system has purely been a function of the realities many small arts projects face: we’ve had to do more with less to get it done.

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Plaster slipcast molds for porcelain in the studio (Farms 004 and 005)
Read entire article at Kickstarter Campaign


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