Originally created by Christian Boltanski for the 2008 Folkestone Triennial, The Whispers was acquired by the Creative Foundation to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Inspired by the role Folkestone played as a departure point for hundreds of thousands of soldiers heading to the battlefields of France and Belgium, the poignant work consists of benches facing across the English Channel towards France, each featuring an audio recording of letters sent to and from soldiers during the war. Each bench tells its own story, which plays when visitors take a seat. The first two recount an exchange between a soldier and his fiancée; another features a soldier's letters to his parents. The final piece records a soldier's final days before travelling into combat. The work was installed on Friday 1 August, ready for the First World War centenary memorial events on 4 August. It has been installed by The Leas on Folkestone's waterfront, near the Grand Hotel and the Metropole – two buildings that played a key role in the war effort.


Produced as part of the Folkestone Triennial, 2008

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