Innovations That Matter

Brexit Phonebox

British artist builds phone booth to call Europe before Brexit

Financial Services

Artist Joe Sweeney wants to document people's views before Brexit


British artist Joe Sweeney wants people to pick up the phone and call Europe before the UK leaves the EU. His project, ‘+44 Leave a message for Europe’, is an interactive digital installation. It invites people to record a message online to the EU or register their own opinion about Brexit.

The installation centres on an inactive phone booth Sweeney created. The phone booth is an exact replica of a 1990s telephone box. It has been placed in the UK’s most south-easterly point, Dungeness beach. People can access the website while standing in front of the telephone box, thanks to support from a nearby pub.

“By installing a familiar object – a phone box – and displacing at the ‘end of the world’, I hope to create a physical and poetic metaphor for the current, confused and uncertain, climate,” Sweeney said. The telephone symbolises a platform for unheard voices, he added.

While you cannot actually make a phone call there, you can record messages on the project’s website. The recordings will be archived and exhibited with Cob Gallery in London later this year. The installation will last until 29 March, the official date for the UK’s exit from the European Union.

The National Lottery through Arts Council England helped finance the project, in partnership with Cob Gallery.



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