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April 14, 2014   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | ‘Seen/Unseen’ explores Sapelo’s diverse…
Magnify Sapelo Island Christopher Lawton 2014-h.env
Georgia Virtual History Project director Christopher Lawton takes a look at the ruins of Chocolate Plantation on Sapelo Island. Photo by Wayne Bellamy

‘Seen/Unseen’ explores Sapelo’s diverse histories

Dave Marr

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By Dave Marr | April 14, 2014
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The Georgia Virtual History Project and the UGA Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts will present Seen/Unseen: Sapelo, a public reception featuring a preview of the GVHP's multimedia project on McIntosh County, Ga., April 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Ciné, 234 W. Hancock Ave.

Nestled between the tourism juggernauts of Savannah and the Golden Isles, McIntosh County is a remarkable, yet under-investigated, location in terms of its rich history. The GVHP and the Willson Center, working closely with community partners on Sapelo Island, at Harris Neck peninsula and in Darien, "aim to build that history into something that not only reveals the depth of what is local, but also makes clear how the local there is truly the story of Georgia," said Christopher Lawton, an instructor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences' history department and Willson Center digital humanities fellow who is director of the GVHP.

"There is perhaps nowhere else in the state where environment and agriculture, bondage and freedom, race and politics, struggle and aspiration all lie so close to the surface," Lawton said. "After nearly 4,000 years of human habitation, Sapelo is our harshest past and our most promising future. With this preview of our work there, through electronic and in-person presentations, we aim to tell a small part of that story."

The GVHP is an effort to use new and interactive technologies to record the history of the state of Georgia and make it available to multiple audiences. The project will have not only a permanent website, but also a dedicated mobile app that will allow participants to access mini-documentaries, historical resources and tourism-related information using image-recognition software at multiple locations across the state. It is aligned with the eHistory initiative of the UGA Digital Humanities Lab, a Willson Center Faculty Research Cluster.

Seen/Unseen: Sapelo is made possible by the support of the Willson Center, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the McIntosh County Historical Society.

The event is associated with Thinc. at UGA, an initiative of the Office of the Vice President for Research that promotes entrepreneurship and fosters economic development in the region by providing inspiration and advice to those contemplating a plunge into the competitive and exciting world of entrepreneurship.

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