The Stranger Festival was the convergence of a year of conversations and meditations about the dynamics of hospitality in Durham, from tiny daily acts of civility to the impacts of rapidly changing public policy. Duke students, faculty and Durham citizens, in collaboration with guest artists from Sojourn Theatre, host a series of micro-events on a city scale, intersecting with and exploring Durham’s daily patterns through workshops, encounters, performance and mobile art events, in search of a living archive of local hospitality.
Please visit our blog to check in on our converations: http://sites.duke.edu/sojourn/
Our day included the following acts
ACT I : The Mural Truck
Outfitted with material down the sides and a multitude of paint pens, the Mural Truck will embark on a journey all over Durham. The Mural Truck poses the question ‘What would you like to share with Durham?’ and invites responses in image and text.
ACT II : Strange/Common
A writing workshop and photographic installation proposing that perhaps the unfamiliar is more familiar than we think.
Strange/Common is led by Linda Yi in collaboration with Janet Xiao and the Durham Community Empowerment Fund.
ACT III : Know Your Rights
The North Carolina Dream Team joins us for an intimate training that explores the immigrant experience in the United States.
Hosted by Kimberly Welch, with special thanks to V of the Dream Team
ACT IV : Stranger Cakes
A delivery of messages of thanks, curiosity, and exchange from stranger to stranger, through the medium of flour, butter and sugar.
Led by Keith Hyland and Torry Bend, in collaboration with the Duke Baking Club, and with special thanks to the kitchen hosts at Threshold Clubhouse and student from the Emily K Center.
ACT V : Points of Entry
An exploration of citizenship and the refugee experience in Durham, including a re-imagining of the US State Department video “Welcome: Portraits of America,” new photographic works by students of the English Language Learners program at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and a Naturalization Interview created by our own Stranger Bureau for Citizenship and Immigration, open to the curious and willing.
Led by Jenny Sherman and Mao Hu, Sojourn artists Michael Rohd and Shannon Scrofano, Dan Ellison, Carolyn Covalt, Suzanne Shanahan at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Duke Center for Civic Engagement, and City of Durham Parks and Recreation. Additional thanks to Katie Hyde, director of Literacy through Photography at the Duke Center for Documentary Studies and Reem Alfahad, Kate Bulger and Grace Benson for their work with the MASTERY students’ photo process.
ACT VI : The Bus
A quest to reveal the inner curiosities of the spaces between our spaces. An exposé of tiny moments of daily hospitality in our mobile environs. An examination of stranger behavior at 0-50 miles per hour…
ACT VII : Open Letters
Citizens, experts and citizen experts offer open thoughts to the city on notions of unconditional hospitality, invisible thresholds, intangible borders, and how Durham life constantly reinvents itself through its untotalizable sum of hospitable acts.
Our deepest thanks to our thoughtful letter-writers.
ACT VIII : Threshold
Threshold is a collaborative movement work that investigates “the hospitality of a ﬁnite threshold which opens to the infinite” through notions of intrusion and invitation, stranger and guest, through grand entrances and emergency exits.
Participating artists include Alpha Tessema, Libby Busdicker, Katie Sommers, Jennifer Blocker, Kyler Griffin, Ali Rabellino, and Erin Tuckerman.
Special thanks to Jacques D for organizing our words.
ACT IX : The Trail
Find the unexpected on the American Tobacco Trail, part of the East Coast Greenway.
Created by Abby Starnes, with special thanks to the Scene Shop at Duke University.
ACT X : Epilogue
Share small plates from our menu of micro-events in the form of video highlights, photographic evidence, a large truck turned mobile mural, and more bits and bites you might have missed. Join excellent neighbors and fabulous strangers for scrumptious cake and snappy banter. Also in attendance: Kimberly Welch of Act VI fame will be fresh off the bus to share her findings, and other Acts and artists will share and share alike.