CALL YOUR ANCESTOR
This work is inspired by Itaru Sasaki, who created the “wind phone” in Japan as a way to grieve for his brother's passing. Since then, it has been replicated in cities around the world.
Like the wind phone, the
Call Your Ancestor installation is intended as a unifying and therapeutic outlet to connect with those who have left this realm before us.
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About The Installation
In early March 2020, the “Call Your Ancestor" Public Space Project was a temporary installation that included an interactive telephone booth and live mural painting by the artist Michelle Gonzalez Green in Durham, North Carolina. It allowed participants to enter the booth and "call" a departed ancestor or loved one of any kind who they wish they could speak to. The goal is to show our community that in the end we are one human family, and our true legacy is in the memories we leave behind.
The project was only open for two days, as it was the same weekend that the pandemic began in the United States. That weekend the booth and mural were removed to the artist's home in Durham, North Carolina, where it remains now. Michelle continued to paint the mural, including all requests of the participants in the work. The short documentary is a video compilation of the stories shared by approximately 15 participants over the course of those two days and the final artwork.
The hope was that the booth would continue to be shared in NC and in other cities as a temporary installation in public spaces, but unfortunately it is no longer possible for the safety of the public. The artist came up with the idea to create a virtual installation that will launch on September 15, the same day as the documentary. Michelle is hoping that the entire world will now take part in the installation from the safety of their home.