Last week Explore Charleston (the folks behind Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau) revealed a pretty cool new initiative: Charleston Stories, a project that highlights eight local monuments, markers, and statues. The privately funded project “gives life” to historical landmarks; when you visit these spots, information cards at each site will direct you to a QR code or web address that then sends you a phone call, narrated by Charleston voices and telling the history of the landmark.

In a press release mayor John Tecklenburg says, “The Charleston Stories, International African American Museum, and Charleston Justice Journey demonstrate that, while our city’s history mixes hope and heartbreak in sometimes tragic fashion, we are today committed to telling our shared story truthfully. By acknowledging our past, we are able to work collectively toward a stronger and brighter future for the Charleston community.”

The eight local landmarks included in Charleston Stories are: Septima Poinsette Clark, Robert Smalls, The Grimke Sisters, Philip Simmons, Alonzo Jacob Ransier, Denmark Vesey, Pollitzer Sisters, and J. Waties Waring. In collaboration with the Charleston History Commission, the monologues have been researched, written, and recored by volunteers from Charleston’s communities.

The Charleston Stories were produced by Sing London, a UK-based group that has commissioned writers and actors to animate public statues in Chicago, London, Manchester, Berlin, and now, Charleston. Director of Sing London, Colette Hiller, says, “Most of us hardly notice the statues around us. Talking Statues aims to change this perception.”

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