Creating a Virtual Indian Residential School; Capitol Art Update

The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota is hosting a forum titled: “Embodying Empathy: Canadian Settler-Colonial Genocide and the Making of a Virtual Indian Residential School. The event is:

  • Tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 4 p.m. at 710 Social Sciences Building on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank. Speaking will be English Prof. Adam Muller of the University of Manitoba.

Here is the promotional description:

Can we digitally represent the experiences of victims of atrocity in order to educate and cultivate empathy? This presentation introduces and reflects on some of the key challenges facing researchers involved with the multidisciplinary critical and creative Embodying Empathy project now underway at the University of Manitoba. Embodying Empathy seeks to construct a digital representation of a Canadian Indian Residential School (IRS) using virtual and augmented reality technologies. The project’s digital “storyworld” is being designed as a museum-quality educational tool that will instruct those immersed in it about Canadian settler-colonial genocide. It also seeks to ascertain whether immersive representations can bridge the empathetic distance separating victims from secondary witnesses to atrocity.
Here is the link to the Embodying Empathy website. And here is a 2014 article in The Manitoban (the University of Manitoba student newspaper) provides more background on the project:

The purpose of this project is to create a virtual Indian Residential School (IRS) in partnership with an interdisciplinary team of IRS survivors, indigenous communities, archivists, scholars, and technology experts …

To this day, few of the buildings that housed residential schools remain to serve as knowledge centres about the history of forced assimilation. This project aims to re-create residential school exhibits for educational purposes based on the testimony of survivors.

Click on the link above for more details. (Thanks to Steve Miller for passing this along.)

Capitol Art Update

The Art Subcommittee has posted new public input meetings, including these in the metro area. Please attend if you can.

  • Tuesday, November 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Augsburg College, Christensen Center, 2211 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis
  • Tuesday, December 1, 6-8 p.m., Hamline University, Anderson Center, Rooms 304-5, Corner of Snelling Ave. N. and Englewood Ave., 774 Snelling Avenue N, St. Paul
  • Wednesday, December 9, 7-9 p.m., Minnetonka Community Center Community Room, 14600 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka

The Art Subcommittee also posted this on-line survey on Capitol art.  Please take the time to fill one out.

We are up to 475 signatures on our petition: Make the Minnesota State Capitol more welcoming: Remove offensive art, add inspiring art. Please consider posting it to Facebook or sharing with friends to help up get to 500.

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