The Mirror Casket

The Mirror Casket project is a sculpture, performance, and visual call to action designed and orchestrated by a collaborative of St. Louis community artists in response to the shooting death of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, MO.

Activist and organizer, Derek Laney, one of the creators of the Mirror Casket

Activist and organizer, Derek Laney, one of the creators of the Mirror Casket

Created by a team of seven community artists and organizers, the mirrored casket responds to a Ferguson resident’s call for “a work of art that evokes more empathy into this circumstance” following the burning of a Michael Brown memorial on September 23, 2014.

With an aim to evoke reflection and empathy for the deaths of young people of color who have lost their lives unjustly in the United States and worldwide, The Mirror Casket was created and performed as part of a “Funeral Procession of Justice” during the Ferguson October protests. As community members carried it from the site of Michael Brown’s death to the police department of the community, its mirrors challenged viewers to look within and see their reflections as both whole and shattered, as both solution and problem, as both victim and aggressor. The Mirror Casket has since been used throughout related protests and marches and became part of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s collection when the museum opened in March 2016.  

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The Mirror Casket was created by De NicholsMarcis Curtis, Sophie Lipman, Damon DavisMallory NezamDerek LaneyElizabeth Vega