WHAT'S A STORYBOOTH?
The Storybooth is a project in collaboration with Philadelphia Assembled (PHLA) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Laos In The House was asked to curate an experience around the idea of “Sanctuary”, along with some other notable individuals and organizations who will similarly create city-wide installations and amplify work that speaks to subjects like “Futures”, “Reconstructions”, “Sovereignty'“ and “Movement”. Through a series of actions, conversations, meals, installations, and other events across Philadelphia, this expansive community project tells stories through the personal and collective narratives that make up the city's ever-changing urban fabric.
Connecting these curated visions of “Sanctuary” together was a PHLA traveling dome, created by Traction Company, that lived with various community partners between April to June. These various projects then culminated in a communal presentation for Perelman Museum’s Fall 2017 exhibition.
For Laos In The House, the mobile sanctuary dome functioned as a “StoryBooth” to allow guests to share their stories through written answers, audio or video recordings, depending on their comfort level. Prompt questions were provided in Lao and English for any potential storytellers that needed help on what topics to share. Below is a video of what it looks like in person:
The mobile dome itself is made of wood and colored plexi glass and fits about 5-6 people comfortably. As the Laos In The House StoryBooth, the interiors drew inspiration from a wat, the Lao Buddhist temple, a place that has provided sanctuary for many Lao American refugees after having been resettled so far way from their homeland, with imagery of symbols seen during Lao celebrations, such as Lao New Year, adorning the panels.
In addition guests were asked to take off their shoes before going inside and sit on a saht (Lao rug) furthering a cultural tradition while they told their stories. Guests at our 2017 #BLESSED event at the Institute of Contemporary Art got to see and engage with the Laos In The House StoryBooth for the very first time.
Stay tuned on where we'll bring it next!