Why Build a Wall?


With see-through pieces that can be stowed in a duffel bag, the Means of Protection wall is made to bend not block. It's light to carry but still able to hold 80 protectors (visible at close range) and 14 stories about safety.

At the Means of Protection readings we explore and add to the wall's stories. The result is a blend of voices we've never heard before and won't hear again once everyone goes their separate ways.

Confused? This Q&A might help.

Q:  First of all, why build a wall?
A:  The instinct to build walls is part of being human. The audience and I play with that instinct by using the wall as a home base for exploring what safety really means.

Q:  How do you do that in less than an hour with a roomful of strangers?
A:   The power of reading poetry out loud to each other! It's a power we know in our bones and can find again if conditions are right.

Q:  So the audience gets involved?
A:  If they choose to, members of the audience come to the front of the room to read my poems—interpreting words they've never seen for people they've never met. When each reader is done, they hang their poem on the wall, marking their voice as part of the whole.

Q:  Sounds a little scary.
A:  A little. But there's no way to reach safety without passing through risk. We know that in our bones too.

Q:  Do people take the risk?
A:  So far, so good. When people choose to share their voices, we create an unrepeatable experience—one that's absolutely solid and absolutely safe.

sarah Powell