Backtrack

WHILE walking the historic streets of Fremantle, the Envoy 2222 audio tour transports listeners into a far more radical landscape – 200 years into the future.

The immersive project was created by theatrical designer Bryan Woltjen.

“The project veered more toward a speculative fiction, this idea of what a society might be in 2222 and what Walyalup might be in 2222 if we are able to convene more representation given to animals,” Woltjen says.

“It fuses a lot of stuff I’ve been thinking about over the past decade or so, a lot of radical inter-species story time.”

Woltjen says Envoy 2222 aims to tell stories on behalf of animals and encourages people to be more aware when telling stories about animals.

“This includes the radical notion of telling stories to animals,” he says. “Animals are not just topics of our stories or stand-ins for human characters, they could be our audiences as well.”

Woltjen researched others already working towards these concepts, allowing him to create the five unique stories for the Wild Freo festival. 

“It’s a huge space opera of epic proportion that we have condensed down to these five small stories.

“As a listener, you are from 2222 and you are coming back to 2022 to see what life was like and the character speaking to you through your device is leading you on the tour.”

Envoy 2222 is a unique story-telling experience, with physical installations placed along the route of each journey. The installations are portals that can be stepped through to return to 2222 and are referenced at the end of each story.

“Linking them all is this idea of a sort of massive magical advancement with mycelium and working with fungal spores and mushrooms being the basis of this time travelling technology.”

Woltjen worked alongside a number of talented people to make this project happen including Cezera Critti-Shnaars.

“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be working with Cezera Critti-Shnaars, a young Noongar-Greek performing artist,” he says. “She has written one of the stories and also helped me write and work on the other stories.”

Woltjen says he wants people being immersed in the world of Envoy 2222 to build a connection to place.

“I would like them to hear Noongar words being spoken, to absorb some Noongar and be okay with speaking the language themselves,” he says. 

“I would like them to get used to the idea of what it means to be another species or to appreciate the perspective of another sentient being that isn’t necessarily human. 

“I’d really like for people to walk away with a sense of connection to all those things.”

Envoy 2222
Various locations around Fremantle
Saturday-Monday, 10am-5pm Free

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