The Forgotten Canopy: Ecology, Ephemeral Architecture, and Imperialism in the Caribbean, South American, and Transatlantic Worlds

Cover Image: “View of a hut, and a dance of the Yuracares Indians, Bolivia.” From Alcide Dessalines d’Orbigny, Voyage dans l’Amérique Méridionale, vol. 3, Paris, 1835–1847.

This “Forgotten Canopy” series began in 2020 with a conversation between Stella Nair and Paul Niell about the importance of architectural roofs and their connections to local ecologies and long standing cultural exchanges across South American and the Caribbean. Nair and Niell then organized a series of conferences at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at the University of California, Los Angeles on this theme, including an exploration of ephemeral architecture and the impact of imperialism across the Americas. With the support of the Terra Foundation for American Art, Nair and Niell joined with Shannon Speed to produce a series of community based workshops that highlight the importance of collaborating with Knowledge Keepers. “The Forgotten Canopy” is an ongoing, multi-dimensional project, with a forthcoming book and further events to be held on the UCLA campus.