LEXINGTON – I Was Here, in partnership with VisitLEX, has launched a new multimedia experience in public spaces centered in downtown Lexington.
Using the digital platform Bandwango, the I Was Here Digital Experience blends cutting edge technology, humanities and the arts to explore the significance of history, memory, and ancestry and how all three come together to begin the process of healing spaces wounded by enslavement.
The project began with Ancestor Spirit Portraits illuminated in windows surrounding the Old Courthouse Square in downtown Lexington. Since its launch in 2018, the project has received local, national, and international awards.
“We’re thrilled to bring the first I Was Here Digital Experience to Lexington, where the project began,” said Marshall Fields, Community Liaison for I Was Here. “This experience integrates image, history, narrative, and soundscape to help each of us examine who we are to each other, who we are as a nation and how we can work to repair the wound in our citizenship created by enslavement. What I Was Here accomplishes is a mindful, reverent, and powerful acknowledgment of American history.”
The experience is a digital pass available via smart phone and the VisitLEX website. Using GPS geofencing, users will go through 29 stops in downtown Lexington, where people can learn more about the I Was Here project and the history of Lexington.
“VisitLEX has been proud to support this important project since its inception,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLEX. “It is an experience that will be beneficial to residents and visitors alike.”
Sponsors include VisitLEX, PNC Bank, Kentucky Humanities, and the Kentucky Tourism Arts and Heritage Cabinet.
VisitLEX is a destination sales, marketing, and service organization charged with promoting Lexington’s Bluegrass Region for the purpose of attracting visitors and growing the economy.
About I Was Here
I Was Here began in Lexington by photographing contemporary African Americans as archetypal Ancestor Spirits. The portraits embody Family. They form cohesive, ethereal images that convey the dignity of the African American individual and family – imagery mostly missing in America’s visual history. The “here” of I Was Here begins with an honest look at the history of place. It asks us to examine who we are to each other, who we are as a nation and how we can work to repair the wound in our citizenship created by enslavement. What I Was Here accomplishes is a mindful, reverent, and powerful acknowledgment of American history. i-was-here.org