Relay of Voices
Interactive Storytelling Website
An interactive storytelling website encompassing the length of the Mississippi River with the goal of sharing and connecting “voices” from the landscape and individual residents of the River region. The effort is shaped by a theory of “movement research” which uses the body as the empathetic center for listening and understanding, and it seeks to communicate about how people live with water and the natural resources that surround it. Cultural data and geographic narratives are embedded in the project, and its use is encouraged by educators, scientists, artists and policy makers.
Since 2017, Victoria Bradford Styrbicki has been working to connect the voices of Mississippi River communities, marked by a journey in 2019 traveling the 2,300 miles of the River at a pedestrian scale with the assistance of her husband, support staff, and regional volunteers. Work on this culminating project has been supported by award-winning digital agency Studio Meta and editors Natalie Warren and Liz Lampman, as well as countless members from river communities. Through partnerships with organizations like The Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC), the Mississippi River Network (MRN) and The Water Institute of the Gulf, A House Unbuilt has connected with River communities in a distinct way, accessing their cultural touchstones, and adapting its special technique of movement and storytelling.
Relay of Voices (relayofvoices.com) can be viewed on all types of media—computer, tablet, or smartphone, and has been designed as an immersive experience taking the viewer along the path of the Mississippi River to the exact locations where the stories were gathered. Various data points are revealed at each location and once clicked through, the stories are revealed moment by moment through the narrative voice of Victoria Bradford Styrbicki along with a surplus of direct quotes from the “voices,” original audio and video footage from the field, photographs, and “Niimikaage”—movement-based retellings of feature stories.
November 1, 2022 – July 1, 2023
Victoria Bradford Styrbicki
Natalie Warren and Liz Lampman
Victoria Bradford Styrbicki/A House Unbuilt