I Wish to Say
"I Wish to Say" grew out of Sheryl Oring's concern that not enough voices were being heard about the state-of-affairs in this country and her belief in the value of free expression that is guaranteed under our Constitution.
For this project, Oring sets up a portable public office - complete with a manual typewriter - and invites people to dictate postcards to the President.
To date, more than 3,500 postcards have been sent to the White House as part of this project. In Summer 2018, "I Wish to Say" will be presented in various locations across the state of Nevada, presented by Nevada Humanities. In 2017, performances took place every Saturday during the first 100 days of the new presidency at Elsewhere in Greensboro, NC. In April 2017, a large-scale performance with a team of 9 typists was held at Market Square in Pittsburgh. Additional performances were staged in Reno, Nevada, and at the University of Michigan.
A complete archive of the project is hosted by the UNCG Library.
On April 27, 2016, a team of students from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and PEN writers invited the public to dictate postcards to the Presidential candidates during the PEN World Voices Festival. This performance was made possible by grants from Franklin Furnace and Creative Capital. The messages dictated during this daylong performance were on display at Smack Mellon in Brooklyn as part of the "Of the people" exhibit curated by Erin Donnelly and at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, NC, as part of the "Dispatches" exhibition curated by Cora Fisher.
Oring's book, "Activating Democracy: The I Wish to Say Project," was released by the University of Chicago Press and Intellect Books in Fall 2016.