With the approach of the fifth anniversary of the violent and deadly Aug. 12, 2017 Unite the Right rally that shook the city and the nation, several individuals and groups are hosting or organizing events to recognize its local impact and celebrate community.
On Saturday at 8 pm, the Memory Project at the University of Virginia will screen a free premiere of “Unveiling: The Origin of Charlottesville’s Monuments” at Market Street Park. The documentary is based on the walking tours of Memory Project director Jalane Schmidt and Jefferson School’s director Andrea Douglas and tells the history of the Charlottesville monuments to Confederate generals.
The opening remarks will be given by Schmidt and viewers are encouraged to bring their own chairs.
Another exhibit that began July 18 at the Virginia Holocaust Museum, “There’s Just Us”, presents a photo exhibit by Alec Hosterman. The Longwood University professor captured photos of the deadly protest in 2017. For Hosterman, the exhibit presents the struggle he saw during the weekend when the community fought back against hate. The photos will be on display until Dec. 30.
The “Soul of Cville” is returning this year from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14 and is free of charge. The festival showcases Black culture, dance, music, fashion and more. The opening event of the festival will be a free screening of Spike Lee’s movie “Do the Right Thing.” The festival is still accepting applications to highlight Black-owned businesses.
A curated photo exhibition called “Witnessing Resistance” and featuring photos from 2016 and 2017 by Charlottesville photojournalist Eze Amos is running at The Jefferson School. The free event began on July 1 and features 18 printed photographs showcase people peacefully protesting at the white supremacist rally.
Amos said he hopes the photographs will spark meaningful conversations to start healing within the community. The exhibit will be open until Sept. 16.
Amos is also the creator of “The Story of Us” exhibit featuring three dozen large photographs mounted on trees along the Downtown Mall.
Each photo will have a QR code to link viewers via smartphones and the internet to a 3-minute recording of the person in the photo describing their experience during the violent rally. The photos will be installed on Aug. 9 and 10.
Amos will lead two community events, free of charge and open to all. The first will be on Aug. 10 at 6:30 p.m., where he will explain the genesis and rationale behind “The Story of Us” exhibit. He will also offer attendees a chance to share emotions and memories of their experiences during that weekend.
Amos’ second event will be on Aug. 13 at 11 a.m. when he will lead a walking tour of the photos. The tour will meet at the Downtown Mall water fountain at 2nd Street NE.