Through youth programming, personal artistic practice and web design the Midnight Media Coup is developed a multi layered tool for not only analyzing but also creating a history based on a multitude of experiences.
The following blog contains explaination, process and analysis as well as additional media components of the development of both the curriculum and installation.

Clips About the (his)Story of Mishkan

From History to Memory Work: its about collecting the fragments

“In acknowledging the performative nature or remembering, memory work takes on board remembering’s productivity and encourages the practitioner to use the pretexts of memory, the traces of the past that remain in the present as raw material in the production of new stories about the past. These stories may heal the wounds of the past. They may also transform the ways individuals and communities live in and relate to the present and the future.” (Family Secrets, Annette Kuhn, p158)

September 11th, 2001. It is a day that we all remember differently, a day that history has already started to write a narrative around; the Pearl Harbor or Kennedy assassination of my generation. I was 12 years old on September 11th, my 7th grade class was on a bus headed from outside Philly to Western CT for a overnight, Jewish camping program. We were watching “The Mask” on the TVs on the bus, and I had drifted into a sleep somewhere in northern Jersey. I remember waking up and commenting sleepily to my friend, seated next to me about how it was so strange that there were big factories in a city like that. It was the first time I ever remember seeing the New York Skyline.

Those of us who owned cell phones at the time, of which I was not one, had not been allowed to bring them on the trip. But some of the teachers had phones. Soon they began frantically calling people. Rumors spread quickly throughout the bus, planes had flown into the Twin Towers. Or something, we weren’t sure. A hijacking, maybe? No one knew if it was an accident or not. People started screaming, crying, taking pictures.

I remember somebody said “we are watching history right now”. I remember that moment so distinctly. This idea in my head, what we were watching was this really big moment. Something was happening.

The day continues to be a blur. We pulled over at a rest stop, turned around and when we got back to the school they were all being really nice to us and gave us bagels. A lot of people were still crying, I didn’t really understand, but I remember trying to cry along. I remember my mom had been really worried about me when I finally got home that afternoon. She said she wanted to drive up there and find me and bring me back. I didn’t really want to do anything that afternoon, I sat and played on the computer and watched TV. I wanted to watch the news but she wouldn’t let me. She said they were just going to play the same thing over and over again and I didn’t need to see that. So I watched Nickelodeon.

Since that one day a lot of things have been made of it. With new statements and connotations, different parts of this memory come up, different images from television and movies supplement the memories of the towers in my own head. I snapped these pictures on my disposable camera that day, you cant see anything as well as we actually could. But they capture that day for me. A few snapshots to throw into the national memory, different experiences, different places, it’s a day we all remember differently.

Why Mapping?

From Ashely Hunt’s “A World Map IN WHICH WE SEE” to classic mercator projections, maps serve as a visual representation of position, perception and power. Maps are used to guide and explain. When in the wrong hands they can be tools of propaganda and misrepresentation. They can also be powerful tools of social activism and organizing. We depend on geographic maps as representations of reality and yet the politics of power often skew what version of reality is displayed. We trust maps to guide us and because of this they hold a great ability to mold our perceptions. This mystical power has always drawn me in. As with other forms of visual representation maps can reach across borders of access while simultaneously creating and maintaining them.

Ashley Hunt - A World Map IN WHICH WE SEE-


Re-Mapping Our (his)Stories -- Breaking it Down

Re: Remembering, Retelling, Rethinking

This project is about examining the things that are often left out of vast histories intended to appeal to wide majorities. Exploring the detail and the scale of experience and identity through history brings us to question how we have and how we will think about and represent history.

Mapping: New ways to look at the information we are given; creating our own representations

Mapping, in all its forms, from geographic, to data, is a representation. This project explores the ways that different representations can effect our reactions, our understandings and our memories. Using mapping and other such visual tools allows us to shed new light on representations of history.

Our: Giving people the space and tools to tell their own stories

The primary goal of this project is to diversify the voices from which we hear history. Often history is portrayed as a single narrative, however this narrative does not account for the experiences of most people. This project is about telling the stories of real people and communities; our stories, our lives, our histories.

(his): taking the (his) out of history.

Using an anti-patriarchal model is crucial to this work that seeks to break the power system under which history, as we know it is skewed and tainted in its portrayal. The project seeks to shift the focus away from the male, resisting the mainstream narrative that is constantly shoved down our throats.

Stories: using stories to put together all the pieces of the puzzle.

The power of a communal history lies in the telling of stories, both individual tales and group narratives. Telling our stories together brings power to those stories and this project seeks to strengthen narratives of history by encouraging the archiving, exploration and use of these stories.

Timelines and Storytelling with Teen Leadership Seminar!

During the Teen Leadership Seminar at Mishkan Shalom Synagogue in Philadelphia last sunday we got to build a collaborative timeline using events from our lives, the news and the synagogues history then everyone picked out one event and shared their memories and thoughts with us: