This work is part of a multi-year, research project investigating the character of Laramie. In this city on the high plains of Wyoming, the connection between place and identity appears to be core to people, with a deep relationship between the landscape, culture and history.
Here was a week-long series of public events exploring the particular sense of a place through people’s individual memories.
A specific interview exercise was derived from theatre rehearsal methods, psychoanalysis and Police cognitive interview techniques devised to jolt witnesses memories about the details of a past event.
The response of Laramites was overwhelming. At the end over 100 fascinating, funny, touching, heart-breaking and soul-shaking memories were generously shared. These memories bring together insights into Laramie from its people, with all the complexities, perspectives and personal connections, sketching a portrait of a place that is both intricate and enticing.
At the end of the week, a selection of these memories were read by actors at the Here public event, with participants and their families, celebrating the essence of Laramie.
What started as an enquiry, a chapter in the research towards a new work, became a work in itself. The Here publication about this project was published in 2018.
It has become a portrait of a place through the people who live here, creating an invitation to see Laramie anew, to see a place’s multiplicity and not so obvious qualities, to add to the appreciation of a place we might already think we know, bringing to the fore the human aspect of place.
Funders for the project include:
Laramie Main Street Alliance, Laramie Public Art Coalition, First Interstate Bank, Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center, The Laramie Museum of Art to the University of Wyoming Art Museum, UW Global Engagement Office, UW Honors College, UW Department of Art and Art History, UW Department of English, UW Department of Geology and Geophysics, Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, UW Geological Museum, Wyoming Humanities Council, Wyoming Arts Council (with support from the Wyoming Legislature and National Endowment for the Arts), and Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research.