Archive for the ‘immigration’ Category

Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program Opportunity

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Call for Applicants:
Deadline: Wednesday, May 18, 2016
A vital component of our Immigrant Artist Program (IAP), the Mentoring Program pairs immigrant artists working in all disciplines with artist mentors who provide one-on-one support, guiding participants to achieve specific goals to sustain one’s art practice, while navigating different cultural perspectives in the NYC art world and beyond. The Mentoring Program aims to foster a community, providing opportunities to connect with other immigrant artists through group meetings, peer learning, and informal gatherings. For more information and to apply, click here.

Call for Mentors:
Deadline: Monday, May 9, 2016
We are also looking for mentors for this year’s program, which is open to past Mentors and Mentees (for at least three years). Many mentors express how rewarding and valuable the experience is, with collaborations and exhibitions coming out of the program. NYFA appreciates having IAP alumni participate as you understand the benefits that this experience offers.

To Apply: Please fill out this brief questionnaire.

Been a mentor several times and want to support the program in others ways? Respond to this email with your availability given the dates below.

Mentor Expectations:
Review applications to identify 3 potential mentees
Attend the Mentor Meeting: Introductions/Expectations/Guidance/Questions on Tuesday, May 31, 6:00 – 7:30PM
Meet with your mentee individually for at least six hours
Attend at least 3 of the 4 Group Meetings as listed:
Meet the Mentors: Tuesday, June 21, 5:30 – 8:00PM
Alumni Mixer: Tuesday, July 14, 5:30 – 8:00PM
Check In: Tuesday, September 1, 5:30 – 8:00PM
Final Celebration: Tuesday, September 20, 5:30 – 8:00PM

NYFA provides a stipend of $500 (provided in two installments of $250) to support your time invested in the program. We’ll reach out to confirm participation as a mentor shortly after the deadline of May 9. If you apply, please hold the dates of the meetings until confirmation.

Written by ricardo

May 4th, 2016 at 8:19 am

Posted in art and activism,immigration

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Interview with Migrant Activists

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In 2012, as I worked on an installation for the New York Hall of Science titled “a geography of being | una geografia de ser,” I enlisted the help of undocumented immigrant activists Cesar and Vishal. I asked them to help me conceptualize a video game that would portray some of the experiences commonly felt by immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. We met a few times over food and had extended discussions. I found some of their experiences and observations so enlightening that I have been meaning to post excerpts from the interviews that others may find helpful and insightful.

Below is one excerpt concerning day to day fears that they have lived with; fears that have been confronted by becoming activists and making their status public.

Other topics include assimlation/de-assimilation, going to college, romantic and familial love. Listen to all the interviews here.

Written by ricardo

February 4th, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Today – April 10th Immigration Reform March on Washington DC

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I can’t be at today’s March for Full Citizenship, Rights for All Immigrants in Washington DC. However after receiving an email from Dream Activists, I took virtual and phone action. If you wish to be heard today as others march go to the Dream Activist’s page and form to help Everilda and keep her from deportation an action that could result in her death. Read her story below:

Everilda has been living in the U.S. since 1998; she was placed into deportation proceedings in 2005 after she went to the border to pick up her 8 and 10 year old kids. Everilda’s family fled Guatemala after Everilda’s sister, father and three nephews were assassinated by a gunman. They were all out-spoken activist and because of that they were killed. If deported, Everilda’s life has already been threatened and she will most likely be killed.

Because of our broken immigration system people like Everilda are being deported left and right. Let’s put a stop to that. Let’s bring Everilda home and show that we are serious in demanding reform.

And if you have time to make a phone call to ICE Director John Morton 202-732-3000 use this sample script:
“I am calling to ask for the immediate release of Everilda Sanchez (A#200-070-769), currently being held at the Calhoun County Jail in Michigan. In 2005 Everilda’s sister, an activist in Guatemala, was murdered. In 2011 Everilda’s son was deported and targeted by the same people who killed her sister. If deported Everilda will be killed. Grant discretion; let her stay!”

Written by ricardo

April 10th, 2013 at 9:40 am

“a geography of being : una geografia de ser” at NY Hall of Science

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The installation “a geography of being : una geografia de ser” that consists of a video game and networked kinetic wooden figures revolves around the immigrant experience. The installation is on view as part of ReGeneration at the New York Hall of Science through January 13th, 2013.

A Discussion Surrounding Immigrant Education and the Right to College

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In the article that follows, blogger Rachel Higgins provides an objective analysis of an often polarizing topic: the hotly debated DREAM Act and what rights, if any, illegal immigrants should have when it comes to securing federal money for college. Structural Patterns has looked at many of the issues art students face when choosing a school, but has rarely touched on the politics of that choice. As Rachel explains, how these issues are resolved may have long-lasting impacts on both students and programs. Rachel often writes about pressing issues in education, though she spends the bulk of her time editing a website for students interested in earning a quality degree on the Internet.

A Discussion Surrounding Immigrant Education and the Right to College

Illegal immigration to the United States has been a long-standing issue in this country – but in recent years, the DREAM Act has polarized the topic even further. Proponents of the bill have lauded its creators for implementing a system by which undocumented aliens can receive an education and contribute to the national economy, while detractors argue that individuals who enter the country illegally have no right to the same privileges afforded to legal citizens.

Introduced in 2001 by Senators Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act provides citizenship to illegal immigrants who entered the United States as minors, completed their high school education, and lived in-country at least five years before the bill was adopted. The conditional residency is extended to six years if the citizen either serves two or more years in the U.S. military or completes at least half of a four-year college degree program. Since he took office in 2008, President Obama has been an active supporter of the bill’s provisions. His latest measure came in June 2012, when he sidestepped Congress to defer deportation of undocumented citizens who met the necessary criteria.

As President Obama and his Republican rivals have argued over the DREAM Act, state-level support for illegal immigrants who wish to earn a college degree remains stagnant. While California successfully passed an initiative last year to allocate a set amount of financial aid to undocumented alien youths, other states have been forced to take alternative routes. In New York, for instance, initiatives to provide financial aid to undocumented citizens who wish to attend college have stalled. This has led several advocacy groups to create the state’s first scholarship program for illegal aliens; thanks to heavy contributions from a number of private donors and non-profit organizations (most notably the Fund for Public Advocacy), a handful of undergraduates in New York City’s university system will receive roughly $2,000 per semester. And in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry has supported measures that provide reduced tuition for more than 32,000 undocumented students; however, Perry’s proviso forces beneficiaries to pledge to obtain legal status within three years after graduation, as opposed to the federal act that grants citizenship amnesty. Supporters of illegal immigrant rights touted Perry’s plan, but most of his Republican colleagues argued against it – and the issue may have contributed to Perry losing the Republican primary appointment that instead went to Mitt Romney.

Supporters of the DREAM Act argue that the entire country benefits from measures that ensure education for all citizens, legal and illegal. “[The DREAM Act will] play an important part in the nation’s efforts to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently noted, adding that a higher number of educated citizens will bolster America’s standing within the global economy. The initiative also creates a wider recruitment pool for the U.S. military, and allows the Department of Homeland Security to devote more resources toward the deportation of individuals who actually pose a threat to national security. Finally, a recent study conducted by researchers at UCLA found that complete enactment of the initiative would boost the national economy by as much as $3.6 trillion in taxable income; in its present form, the DREAM Act cuts the federal deficit by $1.4 billion and will increase federal revenue by as much as $2.3 billion over the next decade.

But as John Hudson of The Atlantic Wire recently wrote, the DREAM Act has endured a large amount of opposition from conservative politicos. John Frum of The Week characterized the bill as a “deceptive piece of legislation with very sinister consequences” intended to mobilize Latino voters without producing the results they collectively desire; he also noted that the act essentially encourages immigrants to enter the country illegally on behalf of their children, who would face little to no penalties for their parents’ illicit actions. Mark Krikorian of National Review also referenced the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, by which a quarter of the beneficiaries were awarded amnesty under fraudulent pretenses. One such beneficiary, Mahmud Abouhalima, later masterminded the first World Trade Center bombing. And Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies noted that the DREAM Act is inherently expensive; if each immigrant received $6,000 per year in tuition subsidies, he argued, then the measure would cost U.S. taxpayers as much as $6.2 billion per year.

The latter topic – cost to federal taxpayers – has been a major talking point between supporters and opponents of the DREAM Act, with both sides citing different figures to bolster their claims. But as Rachel Leven recently wrote in Duke University’s Sanford Journal of Public Policy, the budget for U.S. citizenship activities is primarily financed through fees paid by immigrants; deferral applicants each pay $465, and the federal government estimated in August 2012 that the total amount generated from these applications would fall between $467 million and $585 million. Leven also noted that applying for deferral does not guarantee it will be awarded. Furthermore, a study conducted by the Center for American Progress earlier this month found that the 2.1 million beneficiaries under the most recently proposed version of the bill would generate $329 billion for the national economy, while passage of the act would create 1.4 million new jobs by 2030.

Despite Republican opposition claiming the DREAM Act is too expensive to enact in the United States, these studies reveal that the measure could greatly benefit the American economy in the long term. And in the process, millions of minors who were brought to this country illegally through no fault of their own have been granted the opportunity to receive an education and compete in the job market.

Rachel Higgins

Written by ricardo

November 5th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Undocumented Drones at New York Hall of Science

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Last Thursday, October 25th was the celebration for the opening of ReGeneration, an exhibition at the New York Hall of Science in Corona Park, Queens that will be on view through January 13th. I will be writing one or more extended articles regarding the works in the exhibition. Meanwhile, I am posting a video of the Undocumented Drones being installed at the Hall of Science as part of my installation titled “a geography of being : una geografia de ser”. This is an installation comprised of a video game and three wooden figures with screens and motors that are networked to the game. The figures or undocumented drones help the player along through the game at specific points. Each figure has a corresponding icon on the game screen that tells the player that the small robot has a message. If necessary, the player may step away from the game to view the undocumented drone’s embedded screen for instructions.

a geography of being – Title Screen

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This is the title screen for the new game that I’m building. The video game is one component of the installation titled “a geography of being” that will be featured as part of the exhibition ReGeneration at the New York Hall of Science. “a geography of being” is a creative reflection on the realities of undocumented youths in the United States. The exhibition opens on October 27th 2012 and will be on view through January 13th, 2013. Along with the video game, “a geography of being” will feature kinetic wooden sculptures titled “undocumented drones” that are networked to the game to help the player along the three levels of the game.

Written by ricardo

October 2nd, 2012 at 8:59 am

Deferred Action Workshops

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New York State Youth Leadership Council is helping to organize a series of workshops regarding Deferred Action:

Legal Assistance for Deferred Action on Wednesday Aug 15th from 12pm-6pm at St. Mary’s Church 440 Grand Street (between Pitt St. and Attorney St.) – Manhattan. Take the trains F to Delancey; J, M, Z to Essex St.; B, D to Grand St.

Staten Island Deferred Action Workshop on Tuesday, Aug 14th from 5:30-8pm at St Mary of the Assumption Parish located on 2230 Richmond Terrace Staten Island, NY 10302

Manhatan Deferred Action Workshop
on Thursday, Aug 16th from 6:30pm-8:30pm
at Little Sisters of the Assumption on LSA Family Health Service, 333 East 115th St, New York, NY 10029, 3rd Floor.

NYSYLC UndocuMic on Sunday August 19th from 3-5pm.
WHERE: La Casa Azul Bookstore 143 East 103rd St New York, NY 10029 Registration starts at 3pm
Damage is $5. Contactinfo@nysylc.org for any questions.

Written by ricardo

August 13th, 2012 at 9:55 am

Mobility at Momenta Art, Sept 9th – Oct 17th

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I’m the one artist without a cart in the exhibition Mobility, however the curators elected to include my “Undocumented Drones” as part of the show. The exhibition looks great, upon entering the gallery, I wished that one of my carts was available for the show, unfortunately they are either disassembled or in another part of the world. The exhibition opens Friday, September 9th and runs through October 17th, hopefully my bots will survive. The images below are a preview, the paint bucket in the first photo is not art.
Mobility exhibition at Momenta
From left to right: Undocumented Drones, Blender by Hidemi Takagi and Pimp My Piragua by Miguel Luciano
Mobility exhibition at Momenta
From left to right: SOS Mobile Classroom by Tattfoo Tan and Máximo González’s Changarrito
Mobility exhibition at Momenta
Consume Love by Atom Cianfarani
Mobility exhibition at Momenta
Close up of an Undocumented Drone – a series of modified hobby robots that have been enhanced with an additional microcontroller, screen and radio module. Each robot presents a rotoscoped animation until it receives a twitter message with the tag “DREAMers”. Upon receiving the tweet, the animation freezes, the motors are activated and the message or tweet is displayed.

The Undocumented Drones represent a near slave class within the United States that exists for cheap labor and does not have a voice – the undocumented laborers contributing to this country and primarily concerned with providing for the children and family. The twitter tag “DREAMers” alludes to the children of undocumented immigrants, brought to this country at a young age who have grown up in the United States, but may not have a right to higher education or employment. The DREAM Act was introduced a decade ago to create a pathway toward citizenship for undocumented youth. The DREAM Act has never been passed, however many of the young adults who would benefit from it have exposed themselves as undocumented and become activists; they are the DREAMers. Each bot juxtaposes the silent day laborer with the activist offspring.

Written by ricardo

September 8th, 2011 at 7:46 pm

KLASSENTREFFEN –THE 2ND GENERATION

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Last night, upon the invitation of Moritz von Rappard, I attended the performance of KLASSENTREFFEN by the Ballhaus Naunynstrasse theater company at PS122 and it was excellent. KLASSENTREFFEN is a documentary theater piece in which the performers retell their personal stories as Turkish immigrants living in Germany or first generation Germans of Turkish descent. The piece revolves around identity politics and the memories and emotional histories that are recounted touch upon cultural loss, the difficulties of being Turkish in Germany, and ultimately the construction of cross-cultural identity. I don’t feel that the stories told represent new discoveries or new perspectives regarding the “other,” rather the power of the piece lies in entering these people’s lives and listening to the accounts not from an actor, but from the individual who has lived the difficult experience of defining oneself between cultures. It is the unveiling of personal experience from the individual in real-time that establishes an emotional reaction in the audience.
Cast and crew of KLASSENTREFFEN
Pictured above sitting in a row are the performers: a taxi driver and owner of a taxi company, a publicist, a Green Party politician, a police woman (the first female police commissioner), a Turkish/German pop music producer, and a professional actress. The last man in the row is Moritz von Rappard, the production manager and I don’t recall the second to last man, sitting to the right of Moritz, I believe he may have been an artistic co-producer. Sitting behind the actors are artistic director Shermin Langhoff and director Lukas Langhoff

Written by ricardo

November 21st, 2010 at 10:53 am