Audio-Visual Virginia Slavery Exhibit Set up On Downtown Mall

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on Downtown Mall on Downtown Mall

 A large display of panoramic photos on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall is drawing glances from people passing by.

The audio-visual exhibit is challenging the interpretation of slavery and segregation in Virginia.

Matthew Gibson along with Human Ties of Charlottesville created "Landscapes of Slavery and Segregation,” an interactive artistic piece that challenges the way people think about the past.

"Obviously, there's been a lot of things going on with 'what do we do with statues that might offend people?' well, I think in some ways this is a way to sort of address some of those questions. It's like, how do you look into the past and interpret it for the future?" Gibson said.

The exhibit will have an audio feature where visitors can listen to stories that go hand-in-hand with the images.

"Each one of these has scholars or public historians talking about what you're looking at. So you can dial in a number, hit an option, and hear people like Sarah Bon-Harper talk about how they've interpreted slavery up at James Monroe's Highland."

Peter Hedlund with the project wants these photographed sites to become more recognizable.

"I've been in Charlottesville for 20 years and I never would have known unless somebody had pointed these sites out to me and so that's what we're trying to do," Hedlund said.

The exhibit has two additional installments at the Jefferson school African-American Heritage Center and the University of Virginia. Hedlund hopes people pay attention to this exhibit.

"Hopefully people in Charlottesville when they come down to shows at the Pavilion will take notice of it and maybe call some of those numbers and listen to some of the voices and will learn this other layer of history in Charlottesville," Hedlund said.

To listen to the audio portion of the exhibit, you simply dial the phone number that goes with the image.    

The exhibits at all three locations will remain up until the first week of October.

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