Panamanian Passages is a fully bilingual exhibit for the Smithsonian Latino Center.
The need for bilingual labels in exhibits about Latin American are more often a matter of identity and self-representation than readership. Even though it is true that a portion of the public will read better in one language than the other. For these reasons, we persisted in making all labels in both languages. The result however was a larger area of text. To cope with this condition we created detachable labels that could be turned around to choose the language of preference. The effect however is the equal presence of both languages. Labels could be left in place facing one or the other language. The last user would inadvertently leave a sign of their language of preference. The visitor’s bilingualism was on display as well.