Inspired by street photography, urban ruins, city planning documents, and oral histories, and influenced by the Los Angeles-wide, collaborative project Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980, we decided to ask people who live and work in Providence to look behind the city’s architecture, beneath the streets, and beyond the official narratives, to ask:
What are the unseen stories behind the visible surface of this place?
All photographs on this page courtesy of Erik Gould.
What do each of these stories tell us about the larger story of Providence?
Participants from cultural and historic organizations, artists, educators, young people, and residents from throughout the city’s 25 neighborhoods will tackle these questions in 2019, unearthing new stories about life in the city of Providence. We hope that together, these stories will tell a new, true story about the invisible city, and that both participants and viewers will find themselves thinking differently about the landscapes that surround us.
For example, did you know that in 1922, Edith Alger wrote a “Sightseers’ Guide to Providence and Environs,” which Rhode Island College has digitized here? The book includes photographs and postcards from the period of many of the city’s landmarks. Check it out!