Stanford University recently presented an interactive art exhibit that was aimed at increasing awareness of the Black experience and racial intolerance, both at Stanford and around the world.
The main attraction involved a walk-through of 23 exhibits depicting various scenes throughout history, from life on the African continent through present-day Oakland. The exhibits included scenes portraying the Olduvai Gorge paleoanthropological site in Tanzania, Black migration and the Harlem Renaissance. Some addressed such challenging topics as slavery and used emotionally charged imagery, such as a man on a transatlantic slave ship. The exhibit used lights, sounds, smells and trained theater actors to bring these scenes to life and evoke a visceral response from viewers.
The walk-through was preceded by a conversation in which participants received a brief explanation of the exhibits, followed by a second conversation discussing the exhibits and sharing thoughts on how to address racial intolerance.
“The ‘Experience Sankofa Project is a living museum that portrays the African and African- American diasporic history,” said Dereca Blackmon, assistant vice provost and executive director of the Diversity and First-Gen Office. “It celebrates the challenges and resilience of that community and uses actors and visual artists to create a live museum that allows for deeper reflection and conversation on the Black experience.”
A video about the art exhibit may be seen below.