In fall of 2003, business cards were freely dispensed at 30 pay phone booths around the city of Chicago.
The cards invited participants to dial a toll-free number and describe what they were most afraid of.
The toll-free number was operational for two months and resulted in over 200 responses, which were then compiled onto an audio CD and broadcast on WLUW (88.7fm).
The toll free FEAR number has since been reinstated and remains open for submission. Call now! 1 800 585 1078
The relationship between safety and fear is a cyclical one. Desire for safety leads us to build gated communities, post surveillance cameras and enlist security patrols to protect ourselves from breach by an unknown. In the process, we sever ourselves from the unexpected, from the accidental, from others not like us. The less we encounter them, the less we know and understand them. The less we know and understand them, the more we fear them. The more we fear them, the more we fortify ourselves. It is a fundamentally unhealthy relationship, as our fears so often animate our decisions.
As our administration employs increasingly reactionary policies, where a fearful, suggestible citizenry is desirable, it becomes more important to question what that fear is.
Play call samples
"Stratman thought it revealing that out of the several hundreds who’ve called so far, there hasn’t been a single person who’s commented on fear of terrorists or economic fears. She says most of the messages express a fear of loneliness, and fears of being unloved or not being able to love." - David Dinnell, Metro Times, Detroit, 2005