With all of the current conflict about immigration in the U.S., of course, NYC would rally back with an art installation that celebrates immigrants in the city. Once Upon a Place is the name of the installation, created by Afghan-American artist Aman Mojadidi, which is made up of 3 telephone booths where visitors can listen to the immigration stories of NYC residents from all 5 boroughs. The booths themselves are 3 of the last phone booths removed from the city years ago.
These stories are about immigrants from a variety of countries, including Mexico, Bangladesh, Russia, and Tibet. The stories total over 70 different ones, so you can listen to several without repeating themselves.
The artist felt it was essential to show that New York was built on the backs of immigrants, and so he recorded these stories over a few years, in the time span of when he was an artist in residence with Times Square Arts organization.
The phone booths will be up and located in the center of Times Square throughout the summer until September 5th. Mojadidi says the installation is “incredibly central and incredibly important” in light of all that is currently going on in our political climate.