New 'Blood Memory' app launches in Plymouth as part of Mayflower 400

Nov 17, 2020

A new Indigenous Artist led app has launched as part of the Mayflower 400 'Settlement' project that will enable 'Blood Memory' app users in Plymouth UK the opportunity to discover more about nature and ancestry within the city's Central Park.

It promises to be a great way for individuals and families to connect with the outdoors, especially during lockdown.

Other app locations across the globe include the Southwest, West Coast and East Coast of America such as New York City where stories can be accessed by a mobile device in Central Park, Prospect Park, Ft. Tryon Park, and Inwood Hill Park.

Not only will the 'Blood Memory' app experience enable users to discover stories at set locations in geocaching fashion, it will offer opportunities for people to submit their own 'Blood Memory' nature-based stories from their own locations – helping to build a library of land-based stories and memories from people's own perspectives across the globe.

The 'Blood Memory' Experience is an ethnographic, cultural storytelling project that uses virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to explore how people interpret the concept of 'Blood Memory'.

The phenomena of 'Blood Memory' can be described as the experience of humans holding both ancient and recent memories in our bodies that can be triggered and awakened to reveal both knowledge and trauma.

Blood Memory XR aims to connect Native and non-Native people to stories of the land, language, songs, and teachings from Indigenous perspectives. Through these, the artists hope to invigorate a sense of responsibility to protect land, water and the climate.

Blood memory has been created by artists Stina Hamlin and Jade Begay, produced by Tracy Rector and illustrations by Chief Lady Bird, 2020.

Stina said: "I am excited for this iteration of our project, that can withstand the pandemic, while also inspiring and healing our audience and us as artists.

"Using this app will allow us to still 'occupy' spaces sonically when our physical presence isn't possible. We wouldn’t have thought of this in this way if we weren’t in quarantine, so I feel energised that something beautiful has come out of these hard times."

Jade added: "While I am saddened that we are not able to showcase the VR portion of this project to the community of Plymouth, this audio version enables us to engage with Plymouth and countless others across the globe.

"I am thrilled at the idea that people from the UK can hear how my people from the Southwest relate to the land and vice versa. My hope is that these stories advance visibility and empathy for why we fight to protect our sacred places."

The Conscious Sisters CIC also commented about the new Blood Memory app: "Mulling over our connection with nature has become a national obsession during the pandemic and so it feels very timely that this project has come to Plymouth during our second lockdown.

"Giving us a rare opportunity to hear how indigenous people from North America connect to the land just by walking in Central Park and using an app. How lovely that we too can add our voices to theirs and record our feelings and stories about our connection to those lost wild landscapes under our city."

The Blood Memory app featuring Central Park, Plymouth, is live from 17 November. To download it click here.

Image credits: Blood Memory Illustrations by Chief Lady Bird, 2020

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