“Rise That We May Feel Your Light”, in the Addlestone Library features several student designs to honor residents of Anson Street in the late 1700s. The exhibit honors thirty-six deceased people of African origin found during the Gaillard Center’s construction. Two infants, four children, sixteen men, ten women and four unknown people were discovered during construction. Dental records traced some peoples’ place of birth to central and western Africa as well as Morocco and Madagascar.
The Gullah Society, the City of Charleston, The College, the University of Pennsylvania and the National Geographic Society partnered to determine an appropriate way to honor the dead. CofC students ARTH 396: The Architecture of Memory took inspiration from memorial designs from West Africa and the Gullah culture here in Charleston to generate memorial proposals to honor the thirty-six. The designs drew architectural designs from Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal, and the Gambia. Designs featured African metallurgy and Akrafokonmu, a traditional golden disc representing the power of the soul to absorb warmth and light.
Each proposal has a short description beneath it. Among the many proposals on display are “Waves of Memory” by Jade Macaylo, “The Tree of Life” by Holland Sharon and “Leaning Together, Lifting Spirits” by Leah Bancheri.