What am I doing?
I’m working as a research fellow under Dr. Krissy Lukens and Dr. Michael Lukens at St. Norbert College to construct an interactive virtual tour. I’ll build the tour using ESRI’s Storymaps, and it’ll incorporate maps, photos, and text descriptions of significant places in Berlin that are related to the life and work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a notable theologian, resistor, and martyr.
Why am I doing this?
Right now, the Berlin Bonhoeffer Haus in Berlin has a self-guided tour available. Tourists can visit twelve important sites in Berlin and read about them in pamphlets provided by the Haus. About twenty-five years ago, SNC students and faculty created an English translation of the pamphlet, and this translation has since been the main method used by Berlin’s international visitors to take the self-guided tour.
While the self-guided tour is an excellent resource, it has its limitations: namely, the only people who can experience the tour are those who have the means to travel to Berlin. Thus, an unfortunate byproduct of the tour’s format is that it excludes members of lower socioeconomic classes. Now, though, we have the technology to overcome this obstacle––and that’s where I come in. My job is to digitize the self-guided tour so that anyone with an internet connection can access it and learn from it. Obviously, not everyone has internet access, so the virtual tour isn’t a cure-all solution to the problem, but it’s a step in the right direction.
I find both Bonhoeffer’s work and my project compelling and meaningful because I strongly believe in social and political activism and equality. That’s one of the main reasons I applied for this fellowship in the first place: it’s important to me that all information is as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, and I’m excited to contribute to that mission and bring a unique artistic perspective to the end product of the virtual tour.
I’ll be blogging my experience with this project over on the Blog tab of my Reseach. Feel free to follow along as I create goals and reflect on what I’ve learned as a research fellow!