Currently in development is a new event that is part of the Benchmark project. There’s a Sky in You is a public art event that create a live memorial to live counter memorial to the young African men in this community who have died in the last year.
The event will involve approx 60 members of this community.
The physical space of Maddern Square will be transformed through a lighting installation that will include the projection of moving high clouds in blue sky across the white tablecloths of a long table and along the hard urban surfaces of the space. The community will enter the space to find the space physically transformed by light and sound.
A choir of young people will sing the group into the site. When the group is seated at the table bathed in light, a South Sudanese woman supported by the choir of young people, will sing a traditional “twilight song’ – which welcomes the twilight because it brings the hope of another day. During the course of her song the passing clouds imagery will subtly change to reflect the quality and colour of the light at dusk on the dusty earth in South Sudan.
Members of the group will speak or rap about their missing “brothers”. This will be an open opportunity to freestyle though it is anticipated that a few members of the community will want to perform something prepared and rehearsed. The choir involved will work with the young men to write and rehearse original musical tracks.
The group will be served a restaurant quality meal by community volunteers.
There will be a live link presented through telepresence technology that will allow Sudanese rapper/activist Emmanuel Jal to speak to the group at a point during the event.
This event is public art as public conversation. Dr Sue Anne Ware of RMIT Architecture and Design writes about counter or anti-memorials as a way of encouraging an alternative reading of history and emphasizing the informal and the local as opposed to the formal and national. In this way counter memorials can intervene directly in political debate and promote social change.