Living in the Shadows: Underground Immigrant Communities
through Friday, April 7, 2017
Although invisible to the state, hidden and undocumented immigrant populations directly impact the economic and social structure of the communities in which they have settled. Despite creating underground cultures and networks of commerce and lending, immigration, and housing, these populations remain the most marginal and vulnerable groups in New Jersey and elsewhere in the nation. The works in this exhibition address a range of issues relating to human rights and religious freedom, and ultimately seek to underscore everyone’s shared desire to have a more prosperous life, for their children to be safe, and to have sanctuary.
Pam Cooper’s piece speaks to the issue of children from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras who are placed into shelters while awaiting deportation hearings. Sandra C. Fernandez reflects on issues related to migration across the US border, exploring the phenomenological aesthetics of undocumented immigrants. CERRUCHA’s audiovisual installation focuses on refugee and undocumented adult immigrants currently residing in Montreal and Mexico City. Cynthia Tom’s work explores the tragedy of human trafficking through the experiences of her own Chinese American family. Lauren Everett’s photographs of Los Angeles botanicas and practioners of religions like Santa Muerte and Santeria open up discussions about these misunderstood religions. Gesche Wϋrfel documents how Northern Manhattan immigrant superintendents decorate the basements of apartment buildings, where they often live, illuminating the process of immigrant adaptation to the metropolis from an intimate perspective.
The exhibit will be on view in the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series Galleries in the Mabel Smith Douglass Library from January 17 to April 7, 2017. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. There will be a reception at 5 p.m. and an artists' discussion on Wednesday, March 1 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Mabel Smith Douglass Room at Douglass Library.