Thursday, May 03, 2007

Murmours of the Past In The Dublin Docklands.

[murmour] is one of those interesting considerations of urban space that sprung up from the civic imagination of Torontonians. Starting as a project to document the experiences of people living in Kensington - a market area full of stalls and wafting with dope smoke from the few open cafes in the city that challenge legislation directly to allow patrons to smoke over a coffee. Through gathering murmours and voices from residents they document the ambiance of a place itself.

Kensington now can be thought of as some mini-Amsterdam fused with the anti-vicious circle mentality of Brighton and cross referenced with just about every hippy clothing store and vintage outlet you've ever come across. Beneath its counter-cultural glare, a marked working class experience and large immigrant population co-exist in an area with traditionally low rents.

As part of the Bealtaine festival [murmour] are swooping down on the Docklands development to record people's stories for an interactive, illustrated audio visualization of the development. In a PDF media package the project aim is making stories heard because once heard "these stories change the way people think about that place and about the city." The site they produced after visiting Leith, Edinburgh gives some idea of the likely end result.

People are invited to take their mobile phones for a walk and ring the numbers on signs mounted where the stories were gathered to hear them recited at their point of origin. Some how all of this is related to a festival for the elderly, "Ah in my day there was none of this ringing traffic sign bollix..."

A dedicated [murmour] site for their documentation of a modern Dublin oral folk history is now online.

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