Walking around New York City, have you ever noticed that pretty much all of the public statues depict … men? There’s now an app looking to change that. On Monday, Y&R New York launched an app that uses augmented reality and GPS technology to place a virtual statue of iconic female historical figures next to existing public statues. The free app is part of The Whole Story Project, which seeks to create “parity in public representation and share the remarkable accomplishments of women.” Women in the World founder and CEO Tina Brown was the first person to inaugurate such a virtual statue. Moments before this year’s Women in the World New York Summit kicked off, she placed a statue of Maria Tallchief, the first American-Indian prima ballerina alongside the existing sculpture of Italian medieval poet Dante Alighieri in Dante Park, across the street from Lincoln Center.
In Central Park, some 22 other statues were “unveiled” by Girl Scout Troop 3484, featuring notable women such as Amelia Earhart and Nina Simone, while a statue of famous suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton was placed by her great-great granddaughter, Coline Jenkins, at 77th Street and Central Park West. “The Whole Story Project offers a way to create immediate awareness and access to the amazing history women have made around the world,” said Leslie Sims, Chief Creative Officer of Y&R North America. “We hope that in telling the whole story right now, far and wide, the app will not only be enlightening but also empowering.” The Project is looking past New York already, by organizing “hackathons” where developers and creators are asked to build and place virtual statues of women in their own cities and supporting efforts to create real, physical statues of women in communities across the globe.