All over the world, memorials appear in places where people die or in the places we remember them. But mostly they are forgotten in time and space. Now imagine that these tributes could be mapped on a smartphone or tablet and live on and on. Users could explore, create, share and add memories to tributes all over the map. By making modern-day, ever-lasting markers for remembering those we’ve loved or lost, Tributopia joins us in one of the most hidden, but universal experiences.
The seed for Tributopia was planted by a PBS documentary called The Grove, produced by the creators of Tributopia, which tells the story of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco. The Grove founders envisioned a nature-based memorial in which ordinary individuals could plant and till their own grief, and find comfort in seeing their own human experience reflected in the acts of nature. While the stigma of AIDS created a legion of invisible victims and survivors often excluded from traditional rites of burial and remembrance, having a special place to remember and share was paramount. In an increasingly mobile world, this is a key for all of us.
With Tributopia history comes alive as we locate and share stories of life and death, lifting the veil between past and present, and taking part in a new social media with meaning.