Purdue Pharma Protesters Build a Symbolic Mass Graveyard, and Other News

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Purdue Pharma protesters transform a courthouse plaza into a mass graveyard for victims.

Earlier this week, protesters outside the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York, transformed an adjacent plaza into a symbolic graveyard for victims of Purdue Pharma. Activists set up cardboard tombstones bearing the names of people who succumbed to opioid-related overdoses—many relatives and friends of those protesting. Owned by the Sackler family, the pharmaceutical giant was recently found guilty of encouraging the over-prescribing of OxyContin and thus propelling an opioid epidemic that has taken at least 500,000 lives across the country. Activists from Truth Pharm and Nan Goldin’s advocacy organization Pain Addiction Intervention Now were speaking out against what they viewed as an overly lenient bankruptcy bankruptcy restructuring plan set in place by a judge hand-picked by the Sacklers to be sympathetic to them. 

Initially planned for a release later this year, Tesla delays the Cybertruck’s launch to 2022.

Despite announcing an initial release toward the end of 2021, Tesla has discreetly delayed the launch of its highly anticipated Cybertruck on the site’s customization order page, noting that buyers may choose their desired specs closer to 2022. The biggest consequence of the impeded availability lies in the larger EV market as automobile competitors, such as Ford and Nissan, prepare to debut their EV trucks ahead of Tesla, which threatens to offset demand for the company’s polygonal vehicle. Tesla, however, has reported that the pre-orders for the Cybertruck have exceeded one million, proving that the popularity war within the EV market is ongoing.  

The National Building Museum commemorates Notre Dame and the World Trade Center.

Two major exhibitions are heading to the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, this fall. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the museum will showcase Chilean photographer Camilo José Vergara’s images of the World Trade Center from the construction of Minoru Yamasaki’s original Twin Towers in the early 1970s to the completion of the rebuilt plaza today. Concurrently, the museum will present a faithfully reconstructed replica of one of Notre Dame’s oldest timber trusses destroyed during the April 2019 fire. The 35-foot-tall scale model was assembled using medieval techniques and tools by a team of traditional carpenters, artisans, and architecture students who joined a ten-day build workshop organized by Handshouse Studio at Catholic University’s School of Architecture and Planning. 

The Barbican changes its leadership after a tell-all book included allegations of racism. 

A June publication that documented more than 100 cases of discriminatory behavior has sparked a major staff overhaul at London’s Barbican Centre. After Nicholas Kenyon resigned as managing director, the director of arts and learning Will Gompertz and chief operating and financial officer Sandeep Dwesar have stepped into the joint leadership role with Nina Bhagwat joining as the interim director of equity, diversity, and inclusion “to drive the Barbican’s anti-racism work, and to ensure the Barbican’s inclusion agenda progresses at pace.” Gompertz and Dwesar announced their immediate agenda to aid employees subjected to racism from within the organization and to forward their new anti-racism plan.

Tomás Saraceno convinced his gallery to shorten its hours in order to save electricity.

An environmentalist at heart, the Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno drew inspiration from both the pandemic and climate crisis for his new exhibition that explores the consumption of air, and more intimately breath. Opening at Berlin’s Neugerriemschneider gallery on September 17, “We Do Not All Breathe the Same Air” examines the inherent inequalities of oxygen through immersive installations and landscapes that evoke the gravity of air. The show will operate exclusively using renewable energy and shift its operating hours during October to correspond with shorter daylight hours so that less lighting will be needed during opening times. “We know exactly what the cure to [bad air quality] is,” says Saraceno. “We know that if we stop burning fossil fuels, mortality rates will drop. Why were we able to respond so actively to the immediacy of the coronavirus, but can do nothing against a collective threat that is three times more deadly?”

The environmental activist Greta Thunberg covers the first issue of Vogue Scandinavia.

Greta Thunberg has entered the magazine fray with a bang, calling out the fashion industry for its misguided sustainability advertisements. In lieu of the annual IPCC climate change report, Vogue Scandinavia chose nature as the inaugural issue’s theme and shot Thunberg dressed in an upcycled trench coat speaking about her activism; the interview records the 18-year-old eco-warrior criticizing fast fashion brands for unethical practices, tweeting that “many make it look as if the fashion industry is starting to take responsibility, spending fantasy amounts on campaigns portraying themselves as sustainable, ethical, green, climate neutral, or fair. But let’s be clear: This is almost never anything but pure greenwash.” Greta concludes her interview by reaffirming her mantra: “as long as there is a need for activists I will probably be an activist.”

Today’s attractive distractions:

Tom Daley finished up the jumper he was knitting while watching the Olympics…

….while Japan designed one-of-a-kind kimonos for every participating country. 

Disney World’s newly unveiled Star Wars–themed hotel is out-of-this-world pricey

Scientists discover light behind a black hole 800 million light years from Earth.

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