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The Wind Archives

The Wind Archives is led by Marie-Jeanne Berger, a Canadian and French artist who was born in Egypt. Marie-Jeanne has spent the last decade living and working across the Middle East as a humanitarian focusing on the impacts of war, displacement and hardship in communities. She is passionate about storytelling and how it can bring people together. Marie-Jeanne is now based in Amsterdam.

Marie-Jeanne was one of the thousands inspired by Japanese gardener Itaru Sasaki’s 2010 “wind phone” project. The “wind phone” is a disconnected telephone booth first installed by Sasaki in 2010, in his garden in Ōtsuchi, northeast of Tokyo. Sasaki set up the telephone booth to help him cope with the loss of a beloved cousin to cancer. He would sit in the booth and use the phone to feel connected to his lost relative. The phone was opened to the public after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and subsequent tsunami killed nearly 20,000 people. Mourners came from around the country to visit the telephone booth and have one-way conversations with deceased loved ones, sharing stories and thoughts. These acts of magical thinking helped people cope with their grief.

She wondered if allowing people to record and share their stories could further help with this goal: to give a sense of relief, comfort and acceptance to participants. The greatest thanks for this project goes to Sasaki, whose brilliant idea planted seeds that have grown around the world.

Just as she was inspired by Itaru Sasaki’s “wind phone,” The Wind Archives would love to be inspired by you. Please get in touch if you have ideas about how the project could grow, or places that the telephone booth could visit next.

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