History Moves is an ongoing collaborative project at the intersection of design and public history. Central to the project’s diverse activities is an investigation into the methods by which design can assist in making the production of public history more participatory and more engaging. Each year, History Moves approaches a different urban social domain by partnering with a community organization to provide tools and processes that allow previously unheard voices to shape their personal narratives into a collective history.
In 2015, the History Moves team partnered with Chicago participants in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Established in 1993, WIHS is the world’s longest running clinical research study on women living with HIV. As one of six original sites across the US, the Chicago program includes women who have been participating in the study for over 20 years.
Through a participatory process that included workshops, collaborative working sessions, the use of specially designed history-making toolkits and plenty of candid dialogue, the History Moves team worked with the women of WIHS Chicago to create their own chapter in the history of Chicago. The women worked in pairs to interview one another, producing stories of staggering heartbreak and courage, tremendous loss and pain, and incomparable tales of redemption, determination, and spirit. Ultimately, these overlapping personal narratives produce a collage of all forms of social inequities and injustices—a mosaic of recent and contemporary urban life. With the individual oral histories as a guide, we then worked with the women to collect visual materials—photos, documents, hand-written stories and poems—to accompany their words.
History Moves: Jennifer Brier, lead historian; Matthew Wizinsky, lead designer; Catherine Jett, research assistant; Alexander Hayashi, design assistant. WIHS Chicago: Mardge Cohen, MD, principal investigator; Kathleen Weber, project director; Ellen Almirol, asst. project director.
See full book at: http://issuu.com/historymoves/docs/stillsurviving