How do we remember and commemorate the history of a neighborhood? How might the personal memories of a location, captured in the home or family photograph, intersect with public place?
During the summer of 2012, members of Concordia University’s Mobile Media Lab explored these questions with a community of older adults at Montreal’s Atwater Library and Computer Centre (ALCC). In the MemorySpace project personal memory and public history intersect in an exhibition of photographs, collectively curated. At night, a selection of these photographs will be projected through the large windows of the Atwater Library. The collection can be seen, during the daytime, on a large format interactive touchscreen located on the ground floor of the Library. Original photographs and documents from the collections will be on display in the glass cases also located on the main floor of the ALCC.
The MemorySpace project has had three stages. In the first stage of the project, elders participated in a series of workshops, held at the Atwater Library, where they learned to scan and preserve photographic images. Over 32 older adults participated in this first set of workshops. In the second phase of the project, participants were invited back to engage in a collaborative process. Together we organized our image-collections into slide shows in an environment of shared discussion and support. In the third phase we have worked together to co-curate this exhibit based on these collections of personal photographs. These images are what you see displayed, publicly, in the MemorySpace exhibition.
MemorySpace is the result of a dynamic collaboration between the Mobile Media Lab and the Digital Literacy Project, which is part of the Atwater Library and Computer Centre. Both organizations are involved in a series of projects that engage older adults in creative media production from a participatory media and community-based standpoint.