About the Installation
What does a voice sound like that’s been stripped from the historical record of a time and place?
Sound artist and composer Nadia Botello and video artists Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib’s installation Unsung evokes the silenced and forgotten voices of women in the Callowhill neighborhood from its earliest days to our present moment. Interweaving the narratives of an 18th-century sex worker, the wife of an Irish railroad worker, an undocumented immigrant stuck in a cycle of dependency, and descriptions of the houses of pleasure in Philadelphia’s “Sin City” period, the artists create a timeline in image and sound that moves through the neighborhood’s tumultuous history. Four vocalists interpreted and recorded the score, and beneath the Reading Viaduct, their images are projected while industrial steel resonates with displaced voices. Amidst this immersive installation, the unsung women of the neighborhood are written into the historical record.
American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter
Friends of the Rail Park
Reading International, Inc.
Made possible with major support from the William Penn Foundation and additional generous support from Hummingbird Foundation.