June 06th, 2021 | by Mathieu Gayet

AR app BREONNA'S GARDEN will celebrate Breonna Taylor's memory at Tribeca Immersive 2021

In solidarity with Breonna Taylor's family and with the support of Tribeca Festival’s Tribeca Immersive, artist and curator Lady PheOnix has developed BREONNA'S GARDEN, a revolutionary framework for veneration through augmented reality (AR). As a sacred space, the Garden is brimming with flowers, butterflies, and a few of Breonna’s favorite things.

The development of the project started when Lady PheOnix connected with Ju’Niyah Palmer, Breonna’s sister. Initially, Lady PheOnix sensed a need for a safe space online where her family and friends could mourn. It soon became apparent that entire communities needed a place to process their grief.

“We created BREONNA'S GARDEN to honor the life of Breonna Taylor with the intention that it be a peaceful refuge, unencumbered by the weight of the world.”

The memory of loved ones who’ve died as a consequence of state-sanctioned violence cannot rest in the hands of corrupt media, politicians, or self-appointed Twitter pundits. We have a responsibility to protect their memory. BREONNA'S GARDEN evolved from a healing tool for her family to a healing tool for the nation. It is a sanctuary where her name can be said without negation. We are honored to present an initiative that connects and heals hearts across the country. BREONNA'S GARDEN provides a quiet moment to surrender and let go. Now, more than ever, authentic vulnerability is paramount to collective reconciliation.

BREONNA'S GARDEN is not only a heart-centered offering, but a form of protest. As Lady PheOnix acknowledged in crafting this project, “Breonna died in a world of violence, but she will live on in peace surrounded by beautiful memories, butterflies, and her favorite things.” The experience honors and incorporates the things that brought a smile to Breonna’s face, choosing to immortalize the love and joy that filled her life.

Created by a series of artists who graciously volunteered their time over the last few months, this experience was a labor of love. Australian artist and Director Sutu led the charge, with the help of Candie Quach, his company EyeJack, and a team of volunteers coordinated by Kavya Pearlman. Each of these people and contributions--plus sponsors Metastage and Microsoft--have come together just in time for Tribeca Immersive, and on June 10th the BREONNA'S GARDEN app will be available on the App Store and Google Play.

With two ways to participate, either at the Tribeca Festival or from the comfort of your own home, this experience is open to everyone. Whichever option you choose, the virtual garden will begin to grow around you, with a beautiful monument of Breonna, a hologram of very special guest Ju'Niyah Palmer, and glowing flowers that hold recorded messages from Breonna’s friends and family. The app invites each participant to record their own message, continuing the theme of support and community, and affording everyone the opportunity to leave something positive for the next visitor.

Tribeca itself could not be more timely, as Taylor’s favorite month is June, her birthday month. She would’ve been 28 years old. Breonna’s favorite flower is the tulip. So, when you say her name, do so with flowers on your tongue.

Now is the perfect time to say her name, louder.

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