This summer and fall, an intriguing project will take place in communities along the Mississippi River.
Relay of Voices, a project of the nonprofit A House Unbuilt, is “a research expedition traveling down the Mississippi River with the goal of gathering ‘voices’ from the landscape and individual residents of the river region.”
From the Relay of Voices website:
“Relay of Voices is spearheaded by artist, athlete, and Louisiana native, Victoria Bradford Styrbicki, who is working to connect the voices of river communities by traveling the 2,400 miles of the river at a pedestrian scale with the assistance of a “relay team” made up of support staff and regional volunteers. … A primary reason for choosing the Mississippi River region was the dichotomy of rural and urban communities there, with many of them still making a living off the water and land.”
Here’s a look at one of the first voices of the project:
“Terry Larson, mid sixties, born and raised in Itasca Township, now lives on Wolf Lake some 30-40 miles away, still along the Mississippi. Family land—Gulsvig Landing—remains an important fixture of his and his family’s life here at Itasca. He’s often considered the “first man of the river,” and he has been interviewed and written about many, many times before. He’s a practiced interviewee, coming with prepared stories and recitations, and yet the sentiment feels true and authentic. He launched our time together speaking of his family history and land as we met right upon it, and he wandered into a more personal story of his experience with injury—how it changed his life to suffer and overcome pain, with much thanks to the river.”
(Photo courtesy of Relay of Voices)