Photo: Lizzie Coombes

ZU-UK

Pick Me Up (and hold me tight)

Pick Me Up (and hold me tight) is an invitation for collective listening, experienced through public pay-phones across Leeds. 

Created by award-winning theatre and digital art company ZU-UK in response to rising suicide rates across the country, Pick Me Up (and hold me tight) is an audio event which measures how good at listening we really are.

Public phone boxes across Leeds will ring every day at 11am until the end of the festival. When you pick up the phone, you’ll participate in a gentle but thought-provoking audio experience that explores contemporary loneliness, and exposes the edges of our humanness. It’s an invitation to pause, take stock, and explore what kind of listeners we are.

At a time when suicide is the most common cause of death for men in Britain aged 20-49 and 1 in 4 people are affected by mental health issues at some point in their lives, Pick Me Up (and hold me tight) offers an opportunity to engage in a mass act of contemplation about changes in the fabric of our communities post-Covid, the shrinking of public space and contact between fellow humans – on an ambitious yet intimate scale.

Pick Me Up (and hold me tight) by ZU UK. Commissioned by Compass Festival.

Many thanks to Mind in Camden for their support in the creation of the pilot of this project, the crowdfunders who made the research and development possible and to our team of volunteers who helped audit all the telephone boxes in Leeds.

Your local phone box needs you! We’re gathering information about the public phones of Leeds and we need your help. Nominate your local phone box to be a part of the project by paying it a visit and following this link:

Nominate your local box

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