Best Activist

Janna Añonuevo Langholz

Staff Pick

Activism in St. Louis often takes the form of groups marching through the streets, their collective presence shaking the halls of power. But other times, there’s only a still, small voice, keeping the flame of truth alive. Such is the case of Janna Añonuevo Langholz, a Filipino American artist in St. Louis who has single-handedly created a memorial to the lost residents of the 1904 “Philippine Village,” which housed some 1,200 people imported from the Philippine Islands to populate an unapologetically racist exhibit for that year’s World’s Fair in St. Louis. Segregated in 47 acres and put on display for the cost of 25 cents, the exhibit was a testament to the white supremacy and “race science” flourishing across the imperialist world. More than a century later, Langholz has become a one-person memorial as she leads tours of the former site of the human zoo. Her work and research are just the start of a larger reckoning. After all, before there can be a protest march, there must be at least one person willing to speak out. —Danny Wicentowski
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