I have lived with my family in Shaw for about 7 years now. Shaw is a neighborhood in St. Louis City, right by the Missouri Botanical Gardens (also known as Shaw's Gardens). I have memories of moving into the house. I remember when my kids came home for the first time. I remember many times when there was gunfire across the street. Many of my memories are from a relatively narrow perspective.
A few years ago at National Night Out, I learned that there are families who have lived in our neighborhood for 30 years or more. They remember a lot of things—much more than I do. They remember the white flight starting in the 50's and when the neighborhood was so dangerous that many houses were vacant. They remember worrying about keeping their kids and grandkids safe.
What happened to them was different from and additional to my experience. My memory is not the same as their memory. Maybe neither of us have the sense of things as they really happened. So what do we do about that?
Many people are looking back to events like Mike Brown's death, the Ferguson protests and other events in the recent past as the starting points for conversations. What if those are too recent or too narrow?
All of these events matter and there is a larger story.
One way to step into the larger story may be memory work. Memory Work is a journey to reconcile historical events with corporate memory. This is done through corporate gatherings, installations, spaces, and art—shared experiences that bring us together physically in the present, but also provide a more accurate sense of the history.
Join us as we bring memory work to the St. Louis metro area.