11 Bright Whispers

30 immigrant experiences recast as a maze of lanterns

Bright Whispers will collect a total of 29 homecoming stories and inscribe them into narrow cylindrical structures, each a few feet long and made out of laser-cut card stock. Each immigrant’s story will be cut in the storyteller’s native tongue, and the cylinders – 30 in total, including one blank cylinder to speak for lost immigrant experiences – will hang from a ceiling, at a height representing how long each storyteller has spent in Canada (closer to the ground equals less time here).

A small, battery-powered light bulb will be placed in the middle of each cylinder so that each story also has a physical presence as a lantern. Once this maze of 30 lanterns is turned on, the homecoming stories will overlap and cast refracted patterns of illuminated writing on the ground, making new shapes.

To give each story its own voice, speakers will amplify audio recordings of the storytellers speaking in their many mother tongues. As festival explorers approach the Bright Whispers installation, the cacophony of voices will form a buzz of conversation. As people get closer to each structure, each voice and inscription will emerge as its own recognizable story.

Read more about Haneen Dalla-Ali and Paniz Moayeri’s installation on the Night\Shift blog.


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