The vMLK project engages individuals and groups in the hermeneutic act of experiencing and interpreting what was, what is, and what has never been in relation to public address and civic transformation. The project features six digitally immersive and custom experiences of King’s 1960 “Fill Up the Jails” speech, including different collective and individual sound perspectives, “walk-in” and walking tour experiences, a Virtual Reality experience, a simulation experience of the sanctuary where King delivered the speech, and a historical experience emphasizing the role of the many individuals who made the movement a reality.
The vMLK project seeks to expand and enhance 1) public audiences’ knowledge of civil rights history in North Carolina in relation/juxtaposition to contemporary civic life, 2) appreciation of the scope of civic and political engagement in North Carolina and around the country during the civil rights movement, and 3) public audiences’ understanding of the transformative and affective aspects of public address in relation to King’s 1960 “A Creative Protest [Fill Up the Jails]” address. Audiences will learn, in a manner and to an extent not previously available, how King’s speech text and his delivery served to move people to do something that was unthinkable for them up to this point in history, namely, breaking the law and going to jail to establish their humanity and to gain their rights and freedom. And they are led to consider what this means in light of contemporary political, civic, and social realities.
While each exhibition component—historical experience, collective sound experience, listening experience, virtual reality experience, simulation experience, and feedback/share your creative protest —may be experienced individually in online and/or material spaces, they may also be customized a number of different ways for a transmedia experience, including a public performance, walking tour, virtual reality tour, and online exhibition. The vMLK project works with institutions to develop a unique format.