Virginia Landscapes of Slavery and Segregation is a free audio-visual exhibition that examines lost or abandoned sites in Virginia related to slavery and segregation. In particular, it looks at the challenges of interpreting, preserving, and reclaiming such sites. General audiences can experience the exhibition at three locations:
- On the downtown mall across from the Free Speech Wall, viewers can observe panoramic images created by Encyclopedia Virginia of extant and reconstructed Virginia slave dwellings. Audio components elaborate on how these sites are or are not being preserved and what role such places occupy in the discussion and interpretation of African American history. The installation raises questions about how we talk about history.
- At the Jefferson School, viewers can observe photographs taken in 1963 by Gundars Osvalds. They show life in Charlottesville’s African American neighborhood of Vinegar Hill, just before it was razed and residents relocated. Corresponding audio components address the fact that the legacy of segregation, including neighborhood upheaval from urban renewal, is still very much alive in our experiences today.
- At various sites on UVa Grounds, viewers can learn about the people, places, and stories related to early African American life at the University of Virginia—in particular the lives and legacies of enslaved laborers that until very recently had not been publicly acknowledged or memorialized. This project adds audio components to the Walking Tour created by UVa’s President’s Commission on Slavery and the University.
This exhibit was produced by
and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.