(1) memorialize through interactive, learning-focused installations historically marginalized peoples, heroes of social justice and civil rights, & individuals who have lost their lives to injustice, tyranny, and domestic terrorism;
(2) develop and share educational materials on historically untaught or under-learned events and people;
(3) support local activism toward social justice, injustice awareness, and community outreach.
Why are you doing this?ART So many of us are taught by the media that violence and brutality are consequences of the human condition - we want to reverse the normalization of violence by presenting the stories of individuals. All too often, reports of violence and brutality against BIPOC are bookended by details of past legal troubles or indiscretions, a victim-blaming paradigm that suggests people deserved what happened to them. This practice not only protects tyrrany, but also allows us a disassociation with the truth: the comfort of forgetting that these were complex and distinct individuals, with souls and minds, favorite foods and movies, jobs and families, loyalty to sports teams, fears, wishes, dreams. We intend not to let the sonder of humanity go overlooked. EDUCATION The American school system didn't teach us about the legalized slavery of the 13th Amendment. Or the Tulsa Massacre, the Trail of Tears, Japanese internment, the Stonewall riots, and literally hundreds of other historically significant American incidents, personalities, revolutions, and tragedies. What were we taught? In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue and made friends with the "Indians". The American Civil Rights Movement was a tremendous success in the 1960s, and racism was vanquished. The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. We intend to support like-minded educators, in the hopes that our children will learn and appreciate the truth of our shared past. IN SUMMARY The Vashon Remembrance Project seeks to illuminate the stories untold or undertold across America, engaging families across and beyond our little island, to notice, reflect, share, and REMEMBER.
What is "sonder"?"
Is this a 501(c)3 organization?No. For lack of a better descriptor, this is an ongoing art installation and media development project meant to raise awareness.
Where can I find the art on Vashon to see it in person?Most painting are currently on display to the public in an outdoor installation at the Vashon Center for the Arts. Other portraits are displayed in storefronts and public-facing windows in town. Feel free to contact us for current locations. And many more portrait locations will be added throughout 2021. If you represent a business location that would like to display a portrait, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why don't you describe the details of peoples' deaths?That's honestly a very good question - and we sincerely appreciate people who wonder this. We don't describe the details of death because we think that children should be as aware of these incidents and individuals as adults are. And, as parents, we are sensitive to the fact that each family should be able to decide how best to communicate about death, violence, and brutality. Besides, details can be found with a simple google search for those interested, and we fully encourage those interested to research what happened.
What are the educational materials you develop?In our day jobs, we (the editorial we) are instructional designers, educators, and educational media developers for K-12 and higher education. We have worked with University of California, Oregon State University, Central Texas College, University of Maryland, and several school districts, including Vashon ISD. We create bespoke online content aimed at specific audiences - that is, custom-developed, interactive, media-rich online educational content. We would love to partner with educators, storytellers, and people with an idea - especially BIPOC, LGBTQ, or other historically marginalized populations - on educational content that could be distributed for free to local learners.
What's next for Vashon Remembrance Project?We would like the current series (Summer 2020) to be the first small step of many island-wide art and learning installations, honoring individuals and groups. We hope to develop either bi-annual or seasonal projects with which to engage the community, which we will announce on this page and on Facebook.
"One is astonished in the study of history at the recurrence of the idea that evil must be forgotten, distorted, skimmed over. We must not remember that Daniel Webster got drunk but only remember that he was a splendid constitutional lawyer. We must forget that George Washington was a slave owner . . . and simply remember the things we regard as creditable and inspiring. The difficulty, of course, with this philosophy is that history loses its value as an incentive and example; it paints perfect men and noble nations, but it does not tell the truth."