Repainting History in Technicolor

Esiri Erheriene-Essi’s 'Familiar Strangers' Finds New Recognition in Photographs of the Mid-Century African Diaspora

The earliest colored photographs were fragile black-and-white daguerreotypes, hand-painted with a watercolor technique. The task was laborious, not to mention risky, because the plates were so easily damaged. But the result, a cross between painting and photograph, gave the 19th-century pictures a new level of verisimilitude.

Today, London-born and Amsterdam-based painter Esiri Erheriene-Essi pursues a different sort of visual fidelity when she transforms archival mid-century snapshots of the African diaspora through oil paint and often xerox transfer, a graphic technique she uses to layer images onto the background of her …

In the Crisis of COVID, a Moment of Awakening for Women | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In the Crisis of COVID, a Moment of Awakening for Women

The Pandemic Has Pulled Back the Curtain on Gender Inequity in the U.S.—In Politics and Beyond

The image of California state Assemblymember Buffy Wicks holding her 4-week-old baby on the legislative floor earlier this month after her request to vote by proxy was denied loomed over …

The Mystical, Magical, Terrifying Supernatural Cats of Japan | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Mystical, Magical, Terrifying Supernatural Cats of Japan

From Shapeshifters to Demonic Corpse Eaters, Centuries of Catlore on the Prowl

Japan loves cats. A quick glance at anything related to Japanese pop culture will show you this: Hello Kitty. Cat cafes. Wearable electronic cat ears that respond to your emotional …

Our Search for Human Connection Continues in 2020 | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Our Search for Human Connection Continues in 2020

The 11th Annual Zócalo Book Prize Honors the Best Writing on Community and Social Cohesion

Since 2011, Zócalo Public Square’s annual book prize has recognized the nonfiction book, published in the U.S., that best enhances our understanding of community and the forces that strengthen or …

Announcing the 10th Annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Announcing the 10th Annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize

Awarded Annually to the Poem that Best Evokes Connection to Place

Zócalo is delighted to announce that we will begin accepting submissions for the 10th annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize on November 1, 2020. The deadline for entries will close …