Walking in the Footsteps of History: Selma’s Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge
New technology is making it possible to bring history to life in ways previously unimagined. As historians and guardians of cultural artifacts, researchers and historians now have the capacity to move beyond preservation and stagnant displays, towards sensory experiences capable of engaging and enlightening future generations. Our project, entitled “Walking in the Footsteps of History: Selma’s Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge”, supports the protection our cultural heritage by creating and enhancing experimental, computationally based methods, techniques, and infrastructure that contribute to the humanities and brings a critical moment in civil rights history to life. The project team, in collaboration with citizens of Selma, related museums and interpretive centers, and Civil Rights Movement experts will use advanced digitization technology to create an immersive virtual reality experience that provides a precise recreation of events and activities of participants within the transformative Civil Rights event of March 7,1965.
The scope of work will result in a proof-of-concept prototype that demonstrates the feasibility of the final digital documentation and accurate recreation project, resulting in unprecedented examples of immersive virtual and augmented reality. The animation of Bloody Sunday will provide virtual access to a precarious but significant historic site while dynamically explaining and enliven the event for students, teachers, and citizens across the globe. The project’s innovative and precisely documented workflow will bring conflict archaeology into the 21st century and provide a model for other projects to leverage archival content and physical surveys into accurate, experiential, and geospatial reconstructions.