What does it mean to leave a city? What does it mean to love a city? Can someone ever leave a city? Especially if you have been living in the city for decades? How easy is it to uproot yourself?

Ila’s Quest is a project that lies somewhere between a video game and interactive fiction.    Using the biblical figure, Edith, as a starting point, who became a pillar of salt when she turned around to look at the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the piece explores the relationship between a woman and the city and the questions that it brings about. Ila, the protagonist is walking away from a burning city. The spirit of the city calls out to her to turn back and look at it once, so that it can save itself from annihilation. At every critical turn, the spirit of the city offers something valuable to Ila and the players are asked to choose: to continue or to turn around?

This developing project rose from a comment by a family member, who said that despite leaving the city where they spent over 3 decades of their life, they do not miss the city. So, if not within oneself, where do the experience of living in a city go? Do we continue to live in the city, through weather and navigation apps as long as they continue to update the data? I have used photos from my personal archive as well as few of my favourite paintings in the public domain in this project. The images are always in some kind of motion and the characters speak in verse. But the reader/player is addressed in prose.


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