customized silk screened t shirt and interactive theater

as part of an investigation into identity and community, samina visited 9 cities around the world exploring the new ways that urban dwellers redefine their reference points and associations. 

“we are tribal creatures. we need to belong to something. before it was a nation, a place of worship, a family tree with 100 people who have the same surname. as urban dweller search for alternative channels of affiliation, cities unfold into mosaics of distinct neighborhoods with each land marked by its local establishments – corner café, deli. our global local neighborhood - which none of us are really from – define our new sense of place. reading the sunday paper at our corner café has replaced sunday worship at our corner church. 

historically a sense of community has been dependent on traditional collective signifiers such as family, religion, nationality and race. with these structures breaking down, nationalism dissolving and religion unfolding, the world is immersing in larger communities and a collective dialogue. however, now people are searching to redefine their identity, affiliations and sense of belonging in new spaces and stories." 

“my urban rabbit hole” the t-shirt and storytelling experience is a result of these findings. 

the t-shirt – pre-silked screen with a template of manhattan - maps an individual’s key and memorable geographic points within his/her city. the 5 red dots – fixed with a stamp - are symbolic reference points, “acupuncture points” that crystallize moments and histories in each one’s experience of their city. 

to enter the urban rabbit hole experience, an online game and questionnaire was devised that selected people into a 140 person storytelling landscape, where samina and others performed as storytellers, and inducers of memory and nostalgia. triggering the participants to reflect on their stories, each one then plotted their 5 dot experiences on their t-shirts, creating their own “urban rabbit hole.” 

“as signifiers shift, we redefine our associations according to our story contour lines, couturing our experiences and our neighborhoods.”

november 2008
new york 

the invitation:
the stories:
the storytelling:
email samina to get a link to the full urban rabbit hole photo and video series