Image on STORYBOX: Ballet Russes in Sydney. Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Hello STORYBOX Sydney 

A new STORYBOX has launched in Sydney, with a program dedicated to regeneration and change 

The new STORYBOX, to be based outside the Exchange building in Darling Square, creates a portal into the many lives of Sydney and invites reflection on the future we're all making.

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City of Sydney CBD Activation Project with venue support from Darling Harbour

STORYBOX comes to Darling Square this April, taking up residency outside The Exchange building with a curated digital program exploring the many lives of Sydney through time — past, present and future. 


Supported by the City of Sydney through its CBD Activations Program, STORYBOX SYDNEY creates a time portal centred around ideas of regeneration and change in the city.


The program, which runs from 23 April until 30 June 2021, is presented by ESEM Projects in partnership with the ABC's Content Ideas Lab, the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, the Sydney Writers Festival, the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and Story Factory.

A bespoke 2m-squared digital cube, STORYBOX is a clean-energy structure featuring programmable LED screens powered by solar panels. First launched in Parramatta Square in 2020 in partnership with the ABC's Content Ideas Lab and City of Parramatta Council, STORYBOX creates unique portals into the many lives of places, through curated digital artworks, animations, community stories, short films, data-driven interactives and more.   

How do we change? 


The STORYBOX Sydney program will be located on a site known to its original inhabitants the Wangal and Gadigal people, as 'Tumbalong', a place where seafood is found. 


Since European occupation the topography of the site has gone through countless changes, as have the many businesses and residents, industries, technologies and food cultures of the area. As the city confronts the challenges of a rapidly-changing climate, citizens are adopting new ways of living in the city, with exciting new industries emerging to support more regenerative, climate-adaptive futures. 

Reflecting on these themes, STORYBOX places Sydney life today within a continuum of transformation and change, creating space for reflection, conversation, and insights into the nature of regeneration, creativity and transformation in the harbour city today. 


Key features of the STORYBOX program will include:

  • Gadigal place names and language lessons;

  • Digital portraits of the city captured on film through time;

  • Artist responses to the future of Sydney’s waterways;

  • Poetry and ‘Tiny Stories’ by young and emerging writers;

  • Portraits of personalities and performers in and around Darling Square; and  

  • A ‘Spaces of hope’ program focused on regenerative futures.



We invite contributions from emerging writers, video artists and makers, photographers and film makers. Check out the different options for contributing below. 


Opportunities to contribute


In the lead up to the launch in Darling Square, the team behind STORYBOX are inviting contributions from artists, storytellers and community contributors to contribute to the program.


  • Tiny Stories: Submit a short story around the idea of regeneration and change

  • Artists and creatives: Exhibit film, video, photography, animation and digital artworks

  • Dancers: Submit a dance video for exhibition on STORYBOX Sydney



Cindy Chen, 'Underflow', 2020

Saga of a city NFSA.png



Image: 'Saga of a city', National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Get in touch directly

Thanks for submitting!

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STORYBOX is a new initiative by ESEM Projects, creating bespoke digital activations and programs for public precincts. 

STORYBOX Sydney is made possible with funding from the City of Sydney’s CBD Activations Program and venue support from Darling Harbour. The ABC's Content Ideas Lab is the STORYBOX Anchor Partner. 

The Sydney program also showcases work curated by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, the Sydney Writers Festival, and the Australian Film Television and Radio School.