About the Project
Free Speech was an interactive news kiosk in Marconi Plaza featuring the stories of immigrant and refugee artists in Philadelphia. Envisioned by artist Shira Walinsky, the kiosk offered free written and artistic materials—including postcards, maps, books, oral histories, and recipe cards—to passersby. Installed next to SEPTA’s Oregon Station, Free Speech was embedded within a South Philadelphia neighborhood that has long served as a home for immigrant, migrant, and refugee families. The project was informed by Walinsky’s work over the last six years at Mural Arts’ Southeast by Southeast community hub in South Philadelphia—a collaboration between Mural Arts Philadelphia and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services—with members of the Bhutanese, Burmese, Nepalese, and other immigrant and refugee communities. For Free Speech, Walinsky worked with numerous Southeast by Southeast artist collaborators, including the Sanctuary Poets, Catzie Vilayphonh of Laos In the House, Laura Deutch of PhillyCam, Ma Kay Saw, Krishna Tamang, Noor Azizah, and Mayyadah Alhumssi.
Major support for Monument Lab projects staged in Philadelphia’s five squares provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. An expanded artist roster and projects at additional neighborhood sites made possible by the William Penn Foundation. Lead corporate support provided by Bank of America. Generous additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
For a full list of funders click here.