Location-Based Storytelling and Remembering

Explore the city of Boston through the stories of Italian American immigrants.

The proliferation of mobile devices enables new narrative forms. Memory Traces—an interactive collection of stories from Boston’s Italian-American community—explores the potential of digital storytelling. The project was a collaboration with the Italian Consulate of Boston to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy. Mobile Experience Lab researchers interviewed prominent first-, second-, and third-generation Italian-American immigrants, including the late Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and produced 150 “episodes” that relay their memories. The Memory Traces website visualizes these stories overlaid on a map of the city. In addition to being geo-located, stories can be explored by person, time, period, or theme. The mobile application allows users to follow the stories as they travel through the city, thus linking digital storytelling directly with the physical urban environment.

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