Captioning the city main image

[the sound of the sun seeping into windows, with your permission]
[the sound of pigeons searching for crumbs]
[the sound of the zoom life fading away]

What do we notice when we walk through a city? And what does it trigger within us – memories, emotions, sensations?

Christine Sun Kim is installing captions in Manchester – not on TVs and monitors but on streets and buildings, vast physical captions you can seek out on purpose or discover by chance. Some are descriptive, depicting the world that surrounds us. But others are more poetic, asking: what do we perceive and understand about where we are? Playful, powerful and political, Captioning the City invites us to consider what makes up the essence of a city – and to experience our world in a whole new dimension.

Christine Sun Kim is a US-born, Berlin-based artist whose work considers how sound operates in society. Her practice uses everything from written text and musical notation to American Sign Language to explore her relationship to sound, verbal language and the wider environment.

A free downloadable map of all Captioning the City locations will be available here on Thursday 1 July.

Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival.

Essential Information

COVID-19 safety

The safety of our audiences, artists, volunteers and staff is our highest priority. As well as following all government and industry guidelines, we’re working closely with specialist safety consultants to ensure all our venues are COVID-safe and secure for everyone. You can read more details about our safety measures on our Visit Us page, which we’ll update regularly between now and the Festival.


We want to ensure everyone has the chance to enjoy MIF21: in person at live events, through our free public artworks and online. We’ll announce access performances and provide detailed access information when tickets go on sale. If you’d like to receive news about access performances by email, register for an MIF account, click ‘Other Preferences’, select your access requirement and then click ‘Email me updates about accessible events at MIF’.