Guest Post from Art 188 student Lindsay Douglass
Recently, the glaring lack of representation for both black and Muslim communities in the Brooklyn Historical Society archives motivated historians to create something that actually represented the Brooklyn people. Oral historians combed through hours of audio and collected 54 oral histories that detailed the lives and cultures of those who had for so long been left out of the art world. These stories came from subjects who were born and raised in Brooklyn as well as immigrants from countries such as Pakistan and Morocco, and the discussions on religion, marriage, terrorism, and politics were just as diverse as the types of people being interviewed. On September 7th, the Brooklyn Historical Society opened a sound and art exhibition of the oral history project, introducing an interactive and immersive experience where visitors could experience the stories with headphones and an iPod. These powerful stories include anecdotes about childhood bullies, treatment after 9/11, and the relationship between Islam and other religions. Overall, the project allowed the community to come together and explore the lives of its black and Muslim citizens. This art exhibit is a perfect example of how the history of art continues to evolve, and how art can be used to include and celebrate the true diversity of human life.