Experiential history is at the core of Adkins Arboretum’s Rooted Wisdom: Nature’s Role in the Underground Railroad guided experience—short film and online companion—that explores how self-liberators used nature to forge a path to freedom. The main tenant of experiential history is putting people on the physical landscape, or giving them an object, and allowing them to connect in a tangible way to the history of that place or object. Watch the interview above to hear historian and Rooted Wisdom project collaborator Anthony Cohen discuss how he uses experiential history to tell the story of the Underground Railroad through the natural landscape at Adkins Arboretum.
Sign up for an in-person tour with Anthony Cohen at Adkins Arboretum here.
Film too can provide a platform for experiential history, enabling audiences to see and hear things that might be missed on a single, or even multiple visits to a place. In Rooted Wisdom, the audience is transported through four seasons, day, night, varied weather conditions, and are exposed to an abundance of wildlife. While one goal of Rooted Wisdom is to invite the audience to Adkins Arboretum to explore this history in person, it also provides access to this story beyond a physical visit to the Arboretum—and encourages viewers to look at the natural landscape in a new way.
Rooted Wisdom will launch on Friday, March 11 at 7pm, with a livestream of the 25-minute documentary film followed by a live panel discussion and Q&A at naturesrole.org The event is free, though registration is encouraged. For more information visit here.