Bristol’s Seven Saints heroes honoured in new tour

Seven Saints hero muralImage copyright Shawn Sobers
Image caption Michelle Curtis: “Our elders are not going to be around forever so it’s really important that young people are engaged in their stories”

A new “immersive” city tour to honour racial equality heroes using augmented reality technology has been announced.

Three of the Seven Saints of St Paul’s murals in Bristol will be brought to life using sounds, interviews and music on a tablet computer.

The murals celebrate individuals from the Windrush generation who made political and social strides for change.

The trial version will be open for testing in September.

Murals of civil rights campaigner Barbara Deterring and Bristol bus boycott activists Owen Henry and Roy Hackett will be used.

The project will also include 3D animation, Caribbean folk songs and recordings of the voices of some of the people depicted in the murals.

Image copyright Shawn Sobers
Image caption Three of the seven murals will be used in the new tours until further funding is raised to include the rest

The artist behind the Iconic Black Britons project, Michelle Curtis, has teamed up with digital media production company, Boomsatsuma to bring the murals “to life” and to promote further “intergenerational connections and learning” about black civil rights history in Bristol.

Lyndsay Davies, creative project manager at Boomsatsuma, said they would use tablet computers on the tour to trigger things people are not able to see in real life.

She added: “You will be able to move around the space and hear the sounds change depending on where you are.”

Miss Curtis said the decision to use augmented reality came after realising there were elements of the tour that people could not access, such as references to Caribbean folk songs that “people will now be able to hear”.

She said: “The whole cultural capital idea where people will share these stories through word of mouth is really important to me.”

She added: “I really hope that people will take something positive away from the experience in a way that they would want to share the stories with others.”

The creators of the new experience hope to get further funding in 2021 to develop all seven murals.

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