I can hear the streets talking

Public projection from John Noltner Photography on Vimeo.

For 10 nights, we projected the stories we gathered from the George Floyd memorial. We amplified the voices of the people we encountered. We projected their portraits 20’ x 30’ on the side of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. And we climbed down off the rooftop to have conversations with the people who stopped to look.

For me, it was a way to share the stories publicly in an immediate and larger-than-life forum. My goal for A Peace of My Mind has always been to help start conversations. To create a space through art and storytelling where we can begin to see ourselves and our peers in new ways.

Some of the people who stopped were members of the church. Others had learned about the display on the news or social media. People from the neighborhood paused as they were walking by. They found it curious. They found it powerful. They found it healing. My favorite response was from a man named Ian who said, “I feel like I can hear the streets talking.”

While I can’t travel and run projections everywhere I’d like to be, I can make it available to you. If you have a wall and the means to project and would like to bring this work to your community, send me a note and I can get you a file. I’d love to imagine these images on churches, schools, libraries, civic plazas and more. Let me know if you see a possibility in your own community.

If you’d like to use our short video in a Zoom conversation or a future event to foster dialogue, you can do that, too. Again, just reach out and I can get you the file.

George Floyd from John Noltner Photography on Vimeo.

I’ve included a series of discussion questions below that you can use to start the conversation. These are some of the questions I asked the people who viewed the work and it doesn’t take much to get the conversation started.

After viewing the stories, what would you like to say?

Were there stories that surprised you?

Did you find any statements that challenged you?

Which quotes resonated with your own experience?

How has systemic racism impacted your life?

What is the work that you need to do?

What truth do you want people to hear?

What gives you hope that things can get better?

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