Call Center Interactive Theatre
“Call Cutta In A Box” is a surreal interactive art experience that involves one person at a time talking to a call center representative in Calcutta. It’s a fascinating look into a the distant world of Indian call centers that are so intimately tied to many other businesses and countries. During the appointment, participants take turns asking and answering questions, as the remote call center worker controls music, printers and other devices in the fake office environment the theatre takes place in. Over the course of this brief interaction, the two strangers get to know each other in a transcontinental piecing together of the puzzle of identity.
The Guardian reports:
Sunayana asks if I’d like her job, working in the callcentre in Kolkata. There are two types of jobs there, she explains: inbound calls and outbound calls. She has only worked there for six months – it is a job she is taking to help support her young son, while she awaits full-time work as a journalist – so she is trained only to field inbound calls, which are complaints or requests for customer assistance. The people in the next cluster of cubicles over are navigation experts for the city of Perth, Australia. They have been trained to speak English with an Australian accent, and they have studied maps and photographs of Perth, and newspapers from Perth, so they can chat knowledgably with their callers. She says some of them know Perth as well as they know Kolkata, even if they have never been out of India. She says she would like this job but the Australian accent is difficult for her to learn. Right now she mostly receives complaints.