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transformer presents: where we came from & where we are going

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Victoria Reis, Co-Founder, Executive & Artistic Director of Transformer, hosts a radio special on “where we came from & where we are going”, a group exhibition curated by Kimi Kitada and featuring works by Eliseo Casiano, Dhanashree Gadiyar, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Keisha Scarville, and Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, that consider the precarious status of immigrants in the U.S.

Over 44 million immigrants currently reside in the United States. During the Trump administration, immigration issues have become increasingly pervasive and urgent. The rhetoric employed by politicians on these matters often capitalizes on fear, racism, and xenophobia.

Exploring immigration through the mining of family histories and personal narratives, where we came from & where we are going asks viewers to consider the complexities of immigration reform, nationhood, and migration through the artists’ perspectives, emphasizing that all individuals are part of a collective humanity. Integrating the past and the present, the featured artworks create new representations of hybrid cultural identity, highlighting the migration of both people and objects, and investigating topics of displacement, isolation, cultural assimilation, and government surveillance, among other pressing issues.

Exhibition curator Kimi Kitada shares: “In the publication Can We Solve the Migration Crisis? writer Jacqueline Bhabha outlines a historical trajectory of migration. She contends that there are four broad driving forces of human migration globally – a migration of desperation, colonial migrations, the migration driven by the quest for a better quality of life, and immigration motivated by the desire to further trade and commerce. The narratives in this exhibition focus largely on the pursuit for a better quality of life, and also question the realities of the ‘American Dream’ for many immigrants.”

Kitada continues: “Breathing new life into family stories and tracing their own personal lineage while calling into question the personal, the political, and power dynamics, the compelling narratives featured throughout the exhibition are relevant not only to immigrant audiences, but also to any individual in our society.”

where we came from & where we are going was selected for presentation at Transformer via the organization’s first open call for proposals shared in summer 2018.