An urban neighbourhood is a physical embodiment of community memories and history. Mobile location aware narrative systems have significant potential when applied to urban spaces especially if disadvantaged. Such systems can empower communities by providing a forum in which they can express, recall and celebrate the culture and history of their neighbourhood, supporting perception of it as a place as opposed to simply a space. Kluitenberg definition of public domain as a social and cultural space characterized by commonly shared ideas and memories and the physical manifestations that embodies them inspired the conception of the the Media Portrait of the Liberties (MPL). The MPL embodies the intangible aspects of public domain: local community anecdotes and memories are captured in the form of multimedia fragments and redistributed through the neighbourhood real space. Through the use of mobile location aware technology, such as GPS enabled PDA's, locals and non, can roam the neighbourhood streets and access stories and memories of the place. Each story is available in the specific locations where it happened and is networked with related anecdotes where similar facts of characters appear. People are taken on a journey through physical and historical space of the Liberties neighbourhood public domain.
As a result, locals feel stimulated to recall anecdotes, engage in storytelling activity among themselves as well as with people not familiar with the area. Because they feel connected to the content regarding their own neighbourhood and their past and present lives, the experience boost the community members confidence in using technology for browsing as well as contributing to the pre-authored media stories database. The MPL authored centred approach to community stories is designed to function as a story-catalyst for the local community and offers them a starting point, and inspiration to take ownership of the project and continue to develop its collection by contributing as authors to an ongoing story database rendering a grass roots history of the area.
More details and project documentation can be found at: http://www.valentinanisi.com/liberties.html