|Michael Simons,Paul Shoebridge
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“It was the first place I went alone without my family. So I just looked it up one night when I remembered that I had been there, and it was gone. It wasn’t even on the map anymore…. That was our starting point: what happened to this town?”
Michael Simons, Creator, in Nieman Storyboard
What if your hometown no longer existed? Pine Point was a small town in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Built next to a lead and zinc mine, Pine Point never reached more than 1,200 inhabitants. Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge, also known as “The Goggles,” explore the town story through the memories of its former inhabitants.
In Welcome to Pine Point, the town’s short history is laid out in a scrapbook format featuring videos, interviews, ephemera, and other artifacts. Users can interact with the documentary by rearranging objects on the page just as they would with their own archives. While the story is laid out on a linear path, audience members can move between the town’s past livelihood and its present state of total abandonment. Inspired by a Pine Point website made by a former resident, Welcome to Pine Point is an exploration into how people access the time and space of the past and what it takes to build those gateways to memory.