Doors open @ 6pm -- Come early and meet other Long Now thinkers -- Presentations start @ 7pm
Art, design, and other creative practices are not only an aesthetic muse. They have the power to influence civic conversation and can be especially transformative when the meme at hand is abstract, if not invisible.
Founded in 1917, The Nyanza Colorant Company in Ashland, MA was one of the first textile dying plants in the U.S. For 60 years, until its closing in 1978, the factory provided a livelihood to the town’s workers. It also dumped over 45 thousand tons of chemical sludge into the air, ground, and water. The trespass on the environment was so extreme that in 1982 the 35-acre Nyanza Chemical Waste Dump became one of the nation’s first Superfund cleanup sites.
After 40 years of dormancy there is still no formal timeline to finish remediation and restore the site to a ’clean' condition. Area residents can trace many health problems, including cancer, back to Nyanza, and the long-term effects of the toxic runoff are still unknown.
Industrial waste is not endemic to Ashland, nor is it a thing of the past. Irresponsible and harmful manufacturing practices continue to this day on a global scale, and textile manufacturing in particular is the second largest polluter worldwide.
Dan Borelli’s artwork literally sheds light on the transformative power of art to engage a community, especially when a problem seems out of sight, out of mind. Borelli digs into the “folklore of color” in his hometown of Ashland to ask what is going on with the remediation today, how is public knowledge disseminated, and how does a community regenerate while acknowledging its past? To learn more visit the Ashland-Nyanza Project.
Nick Anguelov takes a macro look at Superfund intitiatives like Nyanza to understand these sites from a regulatory standpoint. He examines the effect America’s contempt for industrial regulation can have on the local living economies where our clothes are made today.
Dr. Emilia Javorsky brings an entreprenuer’s and physician’s view of the conversation through the lens of existential risk. She will also open the conversation to audience engagement through Q&A.