'I Was Here' digital experience creates virtual memorials to ancestors who suffered enslavement
A local project aims to bring Lexington's past to life through your smartphone, by exploring the intersection of memory, history, and ancestry.
For many, the reality of Lexington's status as a one-time slave-trading hub remains abstract — a fact, but not a feeling.
The app is part of a broader project known as I Was Here, a years-long effort to bring ancestors whose lives were forever changed in what's now known as Henry A Tandy Park into consciousness — first through ancestor portraits created in 2016, then written and spoken presentations by historians, citizens and scholars, and now through an app.
The I Was Here Digital Experience integrates image, history, narrative, and soundscape through what's known as geofencing, like a virtual perimeter, meant to guide visitors through 11 stops downtown.
The projects "transforms sites significant to enslavement into on-the-street museums, to educate and unify communities while simultaneously creating memorials in public space," a narrator explains on an introductory video.
More information about the project is available through VisitLex.