n e i g h b o r i n g | t o w n s is an immersive four-channel video and sound installation about borders, restriction of movement, and family/community life. Its subject is Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead, Quebec, two rural towns that are divided by the US/Canadian border. This small community has recently become better known, because immigrants affected by the US travel ban are reuniting with family members at its library. The library, uniquely situated in both the US and Canada, is one of the few places on the continent where those living in the US with visas that do not allow return-entry, can reunite with family members who are not allowed to enter the US, because they are citizens of countries on the US travel ban list.
Within n e i g h b o r i n g | t o w n s, an Iranian man whose family has traveled across the globe to reunite at the library describes their reunion. Music at the annual Vermont Sacred Harp Shape Note Sing, hosted by Derby Line’s bi-national singing group, provides a view into the local close-knit American/Canadian community. Other screens show the library’s quiet interior with a black line on its floor delineating the border; the Tomifobia River, which surges across the border; and two skiers, one in Derby Line, Vermont and one in Stanstead, Quebec, who eventually meet outside the library at the border, which is marked only by a single stone pilaster. The four videos are projected onto a maze of walls.
neighboring|towns is by Heather Theresa Clark and Pauline Jennings with sound composition by Sean Clute, cinematography by Elizabeth Rossano, and choreography created and performed by Pauline Jennings in collaboration with Joshua Lacourse. neighboring|towns is made possible through generous support from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant @foundationforcontemporaryarts and BenQ.
For more information: neighboringtowns.wordpress.com/