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Times Square Phone Booths Tell Immigrant New Yorkers' Tales

 The phone booths are part of Afghan-American artist Aman Mojadidi's installation "Once Upon a Place."
Times Square Phone Booths
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TIMES SQUARE — A new art installation at the Crossroads of the World gives passersby a chance to hear the immigration tales of New Yorkers from across the five boroughs.

“Once Upon a Place,” created by Afghan-American artist Aman Mojadidi, is made up of three “repurposed” telephone booths at which visitors can pick up the receivers and hear stories told by those hailing from countries including Bangladesh, Mexico, Yemen, Ghana, Russia and Tibet, Times Square Arts said in a release.

Mojadidi recorded the stories during his time as an artist in residence with the organization.

“I wanted people to understand — again — and realize once again that cities like New York are actually built largely by the immigrants who come there, work there settle there, live there, and that none of that should be anything that’s feared, but something that is actually celebrated and encouraged,” he said at the installation’s unveiling Tuesday.

Credit: DNAinfo/Maya Rajamani

The installation is “incredibly central and incredibly important” in light of President Donald Trump’s travel ban implementation and other recent events, Times Square Alliance president Tim Tompkins added.

“I think Times Square Arts has never done a project which is more timely, more important and more powerful,” he said.

The installation will be on display in Duffy Square, at West 46th Street and Seventh Avenue, until Sept. 5, Times Square Arts said.