The Detroit Elders Project honors the women and men who have nurtured and supported our families and community. We celebrate those sturdy black bridges who continue to carry us over.
Conceived by distinguished filmmaker Julie Dash during her residency in Detroit, it is designed as a sustaining project that recognizes the significance of our elders to the legacy, vitality and fabric of Detroit. Our aim is to engage Detroit elders in the sharing of their wisdom, the lessons they have learned, and the history they have witnessed and made. In doing so, the project will shine a light on the pathways of our city’s history, the obstacles that we have overcome, and impart, across generations, a sense of the enduring pride and self-respect that our elders have always carried with them.
The project is undertaken in collaboration with Detroit media makers, artists, cultural and community activists, in cooperation with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Wayne State University Dept. of Communication. The Detroit Elders project will officially launch on Sunday April 21, 2013 when Julie Dash invites African American elders and their families for high tea at at Scraps of Memories: A Celebration of our Community Elders at the Wright Museum.
The project encompasses three related initiatives:
HD Video Storytelling Project: will collect and disseminate the first person stories and pearls of wisdom from Detroit elders of all walks of life. The Scraps of Memories Project: will encourage all generations to collect and preserve physical objects from past generations (e.g. family photographs, letters heirlooms, and other mementos) that unlock aspects of family and community history. The Shine a Light Project: we will create a series of permanent video installations which “shine a light” on otherwise darkened neighborhood streets-providing safe passage as images of the elders with their knowing looks watch over our communities.
Funded by Detroit, MI (April 2013)