Flight Paths tells the story of an immigrant trying to escape Pakistan, first as a migrant laborer in Dubai and eventually as an airplane stowaway in route to London. With echoes of the magical realism of Salman Rushdie in the fifth episode, Flight Paths imagines an encounter between the dead stowaway and the woman onto whose car he has fallen. Much more than a restaging of 'East meets West,' Flight Paths gestures toward a true openness to the Other, to the stranger.
Author description: Flight Paths seeks to explore what happens when lives collide - the airplane stowaway and the suburban Londoner. A supermarket car park lies directly beneath the flight path into Heathrow Airport. On at least five separate occasions the bodies of young men - stowaways - have fallen from the sky and landed on or near this place. This project explores the lives of one stowaway and the woman whose car on which he lands. The authors create multimedia elements that illuminate the story while readers are invited to contribute texts, images, sounds, memories, ideas, and stories. The project grows and changes incrementally. There is a long history of electronic fiction works that include user-generated content. But there are very few fiction projects that from the earliest, research phase attempt to harness participatory media as well as multimedia content in the way that Flight Paths does.
Instructions: The story progresses when the user clicks on the icon, which means 'go' or 'forward' in Urdu. Requires Flash.
Previous publication: Now in its third iteration, the first two iterations of Flight Paths currently reside at flightpaths.net, which also includes a link to the collection of submissions and discussion that reside in an online page aggregator, a Netvibes Universe. This is an on-going online project and, as such, does not have a date of publication. It first went online in November 2007 and the third iteration - a digital fiction thriller, and a companion novel intended for print and ebook - is planned for 2012/13.
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