Descendents standing proud
Nova Scotia’s Black Loyalists were at the heart of the greatest historical events of our continent. Theirs is a story of slavery, the American Revolution, and of the settlement of North America. Unlike the stories of the United Empire Loyalists and the American revolutionaries, this is a story that has rarely been told. Birchtown’s Black Loyalist Heritage Centre is a place to tell this story.
Form:Media was chosen to develop a series of interactive touchscreens to allow visitors to learn about Black Loyalists, the story that is at the heart of the novel and television miniseries “The Book of Negroes.” Books have narration, and television productions have actors and sets, but bringing the story to life in a museum environment would be a challenge. The few records from that time are prosaic government documents: the historical “Book of Negroes” was a ledger, recording names and destinations, but little else. We looked to bring the story to life by using images that evoked a sense the settings of the story: Africa, New England, Europe, Nova Scotia. The result is an interactive experience that feels a part of the museum’s architecture, with atmospheric graphics filling the space.
How do you create a museum with almost no artifacts? Historical displacements, and a devastating modern-day fire left the Black Loyalists with a compelling story but few physical artifact to tell that story. Using a series of touchscreens allows story to be brought as close to the visitors as possible.
strategy, branding, wayfinding, graphic design
The Black Loyalist Heritage Society
Birchtown, Nova Scotia
IN THE WAKE OF OPPRESSION AND LOSS
In 2006, an arsonist set fire to the office of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society, destroying many of its valuable archives and historical papers. Instead of being defeated by the act of aggression, the staff, board members and volunteers of the Society pursued a dream they had already been nourishing to build an interpretive centre that would do justice to the complex story of its people.