Telephone boxes on Times Square tell the stories of immigrants

For the next few months, visitors to New York’s Times Square can listen to the experiences of immigrants in special telephone boxes. “Once Upon A Place” is an public art installation by artist Aman Mojadidi. It is on display until September.
The phones in the three boxes ring on a regular basis. Whoever picks up the receiver can listen to one of 70 stories of migrants who have come to New York. They last between 2 and 15 minutes.
“I’m trying to have a position in life for me and my family,” says a woman who has found a job in a groceries shop. “It’s very difficult.”
Another woman from Colombia sees things differently. “Here life is worth something, in Colombia it wasn’t.” She says her family can now visit her in the US, but that she misses her country’s cuisine and films.
The three telephone cabins were originally installed and in use on the streets of the city; now they have found a new lease of life.
According to the Pew Research Center, by 2065, every third US-American will be either an immigrant, or have parents who emigrated to the US.
The New Yorkers featured in “Once Upon A Place” come from, among other places, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Italy, Liberia, Russia, Tibet and Yemen.
Also in the cabin is an information pack made to look like a telephone directory. It lists figures for the number of immigrants in New York as well as information on each individual country. — dpa