• MOAD Slave Narratives

    Slave narratives present moving first-person accounts

An online exhibit presenting moving first-person accounts of slavery

The Power of the First Person Narratives

One of the most powerful exhibits at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco is the Slave Narratives installation. Audio narratives of slave experiences, read by Maya Angelou and other acclaimed actors, play automatically within a long, narrow, darkened room designed to resemble the hold of a slave ship. The slave narratives come from across the globe and span from the 1700’s to the modern day. The challenge was to bring these narratives to the Web in a thoughtful and compelling way.

For the online exhibit, we wanted to replicate the reflective space of the physical exhibit while providing visitors with the tools to learn more about these powerful narratives. The online exhibit has two modes of interaction. One section provides available transcripts and biographies and another presents the audio.

Ideum based the design on the graphic look of MoAD’s main site, which Ideum designed in 2005. The “dots” in the MoAD logo represent a cloud of individual stories, demonstrating that the nine narratives shown represent just a fraction of stories of those who suffered under slavery.

The exhibit was developed in Adobe Flash. An HTML version of the site and iTunes podcast were also developed to help share these important narratives with the public. The site was a finalist in the Flashforward Film Festival in 2007.

To learn more about the Museum of the African Diaspora, visit their site.

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