January 2020 Blog Posts
Pope.L began a series of street performances—which he called crawls—in the late 1970s. His aim was to address division and inequality in New York City; he wanted to “do a work that didn't require language, it just required an action.”
In 1991, wearing a business suit and holding a potted flower, he crawled military-style along the perimeter of Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. The park had been a site of riots that involved the homeless population that took shelter there, squatters, activists, and the police.
The western Sahel—a vast region in Africa just south of the Sahara Desert that spans what is today Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, and was the birthplace of a succession of influential polities. Fueled by a network of global trade routes extending across the region, the empires of Ghana (300–1200), Mali (1230–1600), Songhay (1464–1591), and Segu (1640–1861) cultivated an enormously rich material culture.