Christine Wong Yap with contributors, developed as inaugural artist-in-residence at the Othering & Belonging Institute (formerly the Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society) at UC Berkeley
The goal of The Belonging Project is to share the pivotal places, activities, communities, and experiences that shape Bay Area residents’ connectedness to a neighborhood and region. Stories about places of belonging or senses of belonging that contributors carried with them were solicited via an open call as well as partnerships with community-organizations such as Soccer Without Borders, NIAD, The Beat Within, Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, and more. Twenty-five places of belonging were commemorated with a framed, letterpress-printed, hand-lettered certificate installed on location in collaboration with the location owners or residents. Six stories of carried belonging were interpreted as designs for bandannas screen-printed by the artist. One hundred stories of belonging were compiled, along with photo documentation of the certificates and bandannas, excerpts of contributors' narratives, and a foreword by Othering and Belonging Institute Arts and Culture Strategy Coordinator Evan Bissell, in a 116-page book. The book also includes 15 qualities of belonging identified in collaboration with Bissell.