One year later, Our Marathon exhibit offers a ‘moment for reflection’

A new exhibit marking the one-​​year anniver­sary of the Boston Marathon bomb­ings is on dis­play at Inter­na­tional Vil­lage. Designed by under­grad­u­ates, the exhibit uses sto­ries and images from Northeastern’s Our Marathon dig­ital archive to give audi­ences a chance to reflect on and remember the impact of the tragic events a year ago, said Eliz­a­beth Dillon, the archive’s pri­mary inves­ti­gator and a pro­fessor of English.

An opening recep­tion for “Our Marathon: Sharing Sto­ries and Images from the Boston Bomb­ings,” was held on Thursday after­noon at Inter­na­tional Vil­lage. The exhibit was designed by SCOUT, Northeastern’s new student-​​run design agency, and will be on dis­play through May 2.

The Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties , the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Net­works Uni­ver­sity Libraries , and the Office of Mar­keting and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions are sup­porting the exhibit. NULab over­sees the Our Marathon dig­ital archive, which has cat­a­logued more than 4,000 sto­ries, photos, videos, and oral his­to­ries from the tragic events of April 15, 2013.

“It’s really ter­rific that they put it together so it allows you to look at dif­ferent aspects of that day,” Dillon said. “The one-​​year anniver­sary is a huge moment for reflec­tion and the archive is a space where people can par­tic­i­pate in that reflection.”

The exhibit fea­tures three large pan­eled sec­tions, each with its own title. The sec­tion titled “Our Sto­ries” fea­tures quo­ta­tions from news­paper arti­cles about the bomb­ings. “Our City” includes race day photos, some by Nabila Abul­ja­dayel, AMD ’16, and “Our Strength” fea­tures images of memo­rials made in response to the attacks.

James McGrath, the co-​​director of Our Marathon project, noted that the group wanted to mark the one-​​year anniver­sary with an exhibit that high­lighted the uncer­tainty of that day as well as how the city came together fol­lowing the tragedy.

“It’s just great to see the actual, phys­ical exhibit after months of plan­ning,” said McGrath, a doc­toral stu­dent of Eng­lish. “We wanted to make sure we did some­thing on campus to acknowl­edge the sup­port North­eastern has given this project as well as the actual con­tri­bu­tions the North­eastern com­mu­nity has made to the archive.”

This exhibit is the first project com­pleted by SCOUT, which aims to ful­fill the design needs of the North­eastern com­mu­nity. The lead designers were Kat Garcia, AMD’15, and Stephanie Lee, AMD’15.

“They asked us to help them create a nar­ra­tive,” Garcia said of the col­lab­o­ra­tion between SCOUT and Our Marathon. “We looked for photos and quo­ta­tions that would invoke the most emo­tion and res­onate with the most with people.”

When Our Marathon was estab­lished, Dillon said she hoped it would serve as a ther­a­peutic way for people to share their sto­ries about the marathon bomb­ings. “But I’ve also had a stronger sense during the last year of just how dif­fi­cult healing is and what healing means for dif­ferent people,” she explained.

Anyone who would like to share his or her story from the events sur­rounding the 2013 Boston Marathon is encour­aged to visit the Our Marathon web­site .