Blue skies and mild temperatures—it was perfect weather for an outdoor festival. The University of Alabama Press invited me to hang out in their book-sales tent at the recently held Druid City Arts Festival. But there was more than book browsing going on.
For the people of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the date April 27 is indelibly inscribed. Each survivor of the deadly tornado that made international news remembers something specific about that day. Telling one’s story has a healing effect. That’s why we gave festival-goers a small but meaningful opportunity to record a pictorial moment in their experience of the tornado.
The procedure was simple. We provided sticky notes and drawing tools and assured participants that they didn’t have to be accomplished artists. People jumped right in. The results amazed us. Have a look.