An exhibition of artists who engage ideas of homeland and belonging and resist a unitary sense of time or place


The Bombing of Osage Avenue

Louis Massiah and others in dialogue about community memory, filmmaking, and the events of 1985

Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Memory
  • Performance

Organizing Institutions

Slought, History of Art, and Fine Arts Department at the University of Pennsylvania


Iggy Cortez, Charlotte Ickes

Opens to public





4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

On the web

Find us on twitter at #itinerantbelong and on instagram at itinerantbelongings


100% Formal - 0% Informal

Slought, the History of Art and the Fine Arts Department at the University of Pennsylvania are pleased to announce a series of public programs accompanying the exhibition "Itinerant Belongings." Among these, Louis Massiah, Karen Beckman, and Jessica Vaughn will engage in a public conversation on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 6:30pm, following the screening of Massiah's film The Bombing of Osage Avenue (1986).

On Mother's Day 1985, an army of city and state police converged on a quiet block in historic Cobb's Creek, Philadelphia. By the next day, 61 homes were destroyed and 11 people were dead, all members of the communitarian MOVE organization. The bombing was ordered by the Philadelphia police with the acquiescence of then-mayor W. Wilson Goode, shortly after a 90-minute gun battle with five-hundred city police officers.

Massiah's film The Bombing of Osage Avenue (1986) - the winner of 1987's Global Village Best Documentary Award - documents this tragedy and Toni Cade Bambara's powerful poetic narration further draws us into the events of that day.

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Louis Massiah is a documentary filmmaker and the founder/director of Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia, a media arts center that provides training and equipment access to community groups and the independent film/video community. He has won numerous honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship "genius grant," two Rockefeller/Tribeca fellowships and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

Karen Beckman is the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Professor of Cinema and Modern Media in the Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Vanishing Women: Magic, Film and Feminism (Duke UP, 2003); Crash: Cinema and the Politics of Speed and Stasis (Duke UP, 2010), and is now working on a new book, Animation and the Contemporary Art of War.

Jessica Vaughn is a graduate of the PennDesign MFA program and the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. Vaughn's work has been exhibited at MoMA PS1, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and in galleries in both the US and abroad. She has participated in a number of residencies and has been published widely, including in Artforum, The New York Times, and Modern Painters Magazine. Her work can be seen in the exhibition Itinerant Belongings.

Other Public Programs

Visiting Artist Lecture
by Yael Bartana

In conversation with
Professor Nora Alter of
Temple University

Thursday, November 20, 6:30 PM
Institute of Contemporary Art

More information