Photographers from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) have partnered with the Fall for the Book festival to create a photography exhibit featuring locations around Northern Virginia related to the state’s history with slavery and the Underground Railroad. Photos are displayed in the Center for the Art’s main lobby, located at 4373 Mason Pond Drive, from September 12-October 14, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. This exhibit is free.
Virginia— a slaveholding state and capital of the Confederacy— was home to thousands of slaves who lived and worked on the land, and sometimes sought to escape from it. Today, many relics of the slave trade still remain across Northern Virginia, interspersed between the trappings of modern life. We work and play alongside these reminders, often without realizing it. To make these spaces more visible, OLLI’s Photography Club explored the region, capturing images of plantation homes, slave quarters and jails, as well as statues erected to honor the men, women, and children who lived through these trying times. The Club’s pictures, depict the pain, sorrow, hope, and escape of the enslaved.
This photo exhibit is presented in conjunction with several Fall for the Book events, including Robinson Professor and distinguished historian Spencer Crew, who will speak about the history of slavery in America during Fall for the Book on Wednesday, October 11 at 6 p.m. in George Mason University’s Harris Theater. He will be followed at 7:30 p.m. by Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author Colson Whitehead, who will give a keynote talk on his novel The Underground Railroad. Before and after these events, an extended, digital version of the “Slavery in Northern Virginia” exhibit will be displayed in Harris Theater’s lobby. Fall for the Book runs from October 11-14, 2017, featuring over 150 authors.