ROAMING SOUND INSTALLATION AT THE MELBOURNE CITY LIBRARY
Based on the Somali word for ‘warm’, this artwork created a collection of audio recordings exploring the emotional, physical and spiritual meanings of kululee and highlighted the experiences of the young people involved. It came out of discussions where some young participants related stories about the kindness they had experienced as new arrivals to Australia.
People were asked to contribute and record a personal story of an experience where someone had been kind to them and work the word ‘warm’ or ‘warmth’ into its telling.
Collecting an FM radio receiver and headset from the City Library allowed players to access these audio recordings of ‘acts of kindness’ as expressed by diverse voices. Radio transmitters were placed amongst the bookshelves, allowing players to hear individual stories when they came within range. These ‘living books’ of voices from all walks of life animated the library experience with first-hand accounts of warm-heartedness. ‘Kululee’ told stories different to the ones most often heard in the media. It demonstrated that Australian life is not a mean, monocultural experience but one of unexpected helpfulness, consideration and gratitude.