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The Voice of a City / Polyphony

(2020)

The Voice of a City/ Polyphony is a work made for the internet, commissioned by mind the fact festival and Allothroe Europe. It is an interactive walk through a fictional, virtual city bringing together original writings by Nada Gambier (FI/BE), Mark Etchells (UK) and Thomas Kasebacher (AT) with those of viewers, contributing their own stories, through Twitter. Viewers’ texts posted on the social media platform appear inside the virtual environment, articulating a collaborative and multi-author narrative.

Between 2017 and 2019 Gambier, Etchells and Kasebacher investigated how personal (hi)stories uncover larger societal issues in their project The Voice of a City. By looking at individual’s everyday contexts and listening to their thoughts on political and social change, the notion of community and belonging, the future and everything in-between they attempted to form a map of who inhabits Europe today, what is on their minds and what are the links to history. Based on meetings with taxi drivers, teachers, political activists, lawyers, builders, farmers and more mainly living in Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Finland, the UK, Belgium and France the artists created a kind of archive reflecting the state of affairs today. 

 

Out of this process several public events were created that were supposed to tour Europe throughout 2020. However, due to the uncertainty of the Corona pandemic, that hit us all unexpectedly, the prospect of travelling evaporated and many arts festivals turned into online events. In this new reality the work had to morph and adapt too. 

 

The Voice of a City / Polyphony came out of this process. Instead of just transposing the existing work of The Voice of a City to the world of the internet, Nada & Co. decided to test another way of working, co-creating from afar, letting the existing material be re-possessed by the Greek media artist peqpez, inviting her to re-work parts of it. peqpez shaped the work in dialogue with Nada Gambier.

 

Created by peqpez 

in dialogue with Nada Gambier

Based on original writings by Mark Etchells, Thomas Kasebacher and Nada Gambier,

a painting by Eugénie Obolensky and other material from the archives of The Voice of a City by Nada & Co.