Mario Gooden: My name is Mario Gooden. My project is a Protest Machine that visualizes the experiences of protesters during the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960s and the recent Black Lives Matter movement.
The protest machine is a full-scale structure that bears a resemblance to a trolley, which recalls the first Black owned independent streetcar line in Nashville, in response to newly enacted segregation laws. The three animations are based upon the routes that Civil Rights marchers took in 1960, 1961, and 1964 through the streets of downtown Nashville, Tennessee to the courthouse, to the sites of sit-ins, and other protests.
To overcome the exclusionary practices of segregation, African-Americans have often had to negotiate boundaries, think about how to be in places in which they were prohibited from being. This is very much a spatial idea.
So the trolley as a protest machine recalls the ways in which the civil rights protesters and Black Lives Matter protesters have occupied the city, have taken over the streets and the sidewalks in order to express themselves, as well as to say that liberation is an action and that liberation demands action and that liberation is spatial. While freedom is an idea, to be really free is to be spatially free.