by Tori Carroll
As Attorney General Bill Schuette filed another round of charges related to the Flint water crisis Friday, it's hard not to question citizen-government relationship — and more specifically, how 'the truth' sometimes feels difficult to come across. With this depressing reality in mind, we turn our attention today to an initiative that is, well, the exact opposite.
Enter: the Truth Booth, an inflatable, video recording studio that's makings its way to metro Detroit and Flint in coming days with the sole purpose of showcasing honest confessionals.
Created by artist-group the Cause Collective, the Truth Booth aims to give disenfranchised civilians a voice and an opportunity to share their perspective on world issues and politics.
"The project is about hearing the voices of those who are underrepresented," project co-founder Hank Willis Thomas told the Detroit Free Press. "We live in a society that is primarily celebrity-oriented. This is a project that is democratized. Everyone is anonymous. I realize in that context you can learn so much from so many people. Seeing someone as young 8 and someone as old as 80 has been powerful."
So how does this work? Citizens have the opportunity to enter the all-white booth, where they can share testimonial up to two-minutes long on, well, just about anything. With total privacy — just the speaker, a white room, and a camera — those engaging with the booth can simultaneously feel apart of a modern social media project but also an intimate confessional, one that feels away from the public eye.
Cause Collective plans to visit every US state before the 2016 Presidential Election, and hopes to receive a massive amount of diverse ideas and perception about the politics — as well as varied outlooks on different lifestyles.
"It really is able to take a temperature of place and time through people’s voice," Curator Lauren Mott told the Freep. "People are used to a confessional style, and it’s understanding you are a part of something so much bigger, and you’re part of a global narrative."