Documented: Perspectives on Migration and Creation


Documented exhibit graphic with red to blue gradient with world image

“Documented: Perspectives on Migration and Creation” 

This exhibition is a showcase of programs, initiatives, art, and scholarship that explores the intersections between migration, immigration, and creative identity.

Exhibit Contents

University of Kansas Libraries
1425 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045

KU International Student Association
1450 Jayhawk Blvd., Strong Hall Room 2
Lawrence, KS 66045

Spencer Museum of Art
1301 Mississippi St.
Lawrence, KS 66045

KU Center for Migration Research
1541 Lilac Lane, Blake Hall 607
Lawrence, KS 66045

Opening Reception

Presentation by Israel Alejandro Garcia Garcia — Artist and Curator, Garcia Squared Contemporary

Opening Reception Images

Exhibition Photographs

Exhibition Statement

By Cécile Accilien — Acting Chair, African and African-American Studies

The 21st century has been declared the “century of the migrant” because the number of international migrants have exceeded 240 million for the first time in history. The scholars whose work is represented in this exhibition study the movement of populations across borders by addressing themes such as freedom, mobility, alienation, displacement and citizenship. Immigration is one of the most important issues currently facing our local, national and global communities. KU students, staff and faculty are joining the dialogue as evidenced from the KU Common Book this year Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work by Haitian American writer Edwidge Danticat who came to the United States as a child at the age of 12. Moreover, the KU Common Work of Art features the famous New Orleanian “Voodoo Queen” legend Marie Laveau by Haitian-American artist Ulrick Jean-Pierre who is also based in New Orleans. The painting is part of an exhibit at the Spencer Museum of Art titled “The Ties that Bind: Haiti, the United States and the Work of Ulrick Jean-Pierre in Comparative Perspective.” These works provide important opportunities for all of us to have rich, engaging and necessary conversations around the theme of immigration and identity.

The work represented in this exhibit is asking important questions such as: Which types of immigrants are welcome to the United States and why? What are the different types of immigration (voluntary, reluctant, documented, undocumented)? Do all immigrants have the same level of access to the local economy, job market, social services and path to citizenship? How do communities include or exclude immigrants through urban planning, access to transportation, education, housing and employment? How do immigrant communities interact with non-immigrant communities and vice-versa? How do immigrants find survival strategies and maintain social network in their home country while trying to integrate in the host country? How do first, second and third generation immigrants negotiate their identities?

In spite of the fact that Europeans came to the United States occupied the Native American’s land, the U.S. has been viewed by many people around the world as a welcoming oasis for those looking for freedom (religious, political, economic, social) and better opportunities. However, the latest attacks on immigration have shown that racism, sexism and classism are directly related to how immigrants are labeled and treated. Many of us scholars who spend our lives probing these complex issues know that many immigrants are first and foremost thought of as the Other because there is a perception that they threaten both society and individual privilege. The fear of the immigrant is connected to the changing demographics of the United States because they will eventually challenge the very meaning of terms such as “minority” and “majority”. Whether or not people want to accept it, the reality is that the United States is on its way to becoming a more multiracial, multi-ethnic, in sum a mestizo society.

As we view the work of these artists, scholars and practitioners, let us have the courage to engage in real conversations about immigration. Let us have honest and open dialogues about what it means to be an immigrant because if we think about the United States’ history and very foundation we would be more conscious of the fact that many of us here in this space are immigrants. The challenge is to figure out how to co-exist while mutually respecting one another in our various diversities and differences in the many Americas that the United States has created and not being afraid to name the daily privileges that we gain as a result of the fact that we live in “the century of the migrant”.

Cécile Accilien is Acting Chair and Associate Professor of African and Caribbean Studies in the Department of African and African-American Studies. She is also the director of the Institute of Haitian Studies and Associate director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Antje Ziethen is Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at the University of Kansas.

Nicholas P. Waldron is pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting at the University of Kansas School of Music. He also serves as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Bands and is the Director of the Women’s Basketball Band and Assistant Director of the Men’s Basketball Band.

Stacey Vanderhurst is a cultural anthropologist specializing in gender, migration, and governance. She joined the WGSS faculty in Fall 2015.

Lorie A. Vanchena, associate professor of Germanic Languages & Literatures, directs the Digital Humanities project WWI American Immigrant Poetry, a digital archive and scholarly edition of poems written by immigrants in the U.S. during the World War I era.

Kathryn Vaggalis is a PhD candidate in the Department of American Studies at the University of Kansas and currently works as managing editor of the peer-reviewed journal Women, Gender, and Families of Color.

Luciano Tosta is Associate Professor of Brazilian Literature and Culture and the Director of Graduate Studies of the Center for Global and International Studies.

Eric Scott (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley) explores migration and diaspora within and beyond the imperial borders of Russia and Eurasia.

Brent Metz, Professor of Anthropology, has undertaken collaborative research among Ch’orti’ Mayas of eastern Guatemala and western Honduras since 1990.

As an Associate Researcher within the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, Cheryl Holmes brings close to 20 years of experience in implementation, evaluation, and research.

Michelle Levy is a Research Project Director at the University of Kansas, School of Social Welfare.

Donna Ginther is a Professor of Economics and the Director of the Center for Science Technology & Economic Policy at the Institute for Policy & Social Research at the University of Kansas.

Michael Crawford is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Kansas.

Marta Caminero-Santangelo is the Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Interim Director of the Hall Center for the Humanities, and a professor in the English Department at the University of Kansas.

Jeanne Klein, Emerita Associate Professor, retired in 2017, having taught and directed Theatre for Young Audiences for thirty years at KU and elsewhere.

José Cruz González’s compelling play, Lily Plants a Garden, remains timely today as children are tragically separated from their families at US borders

Centro Hispano
204 W 13th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044

Lawrence Interfaith Refugee and Immigrant Ministry
Lawrence, KS 66045

La Luz Immigration Clinic
2220 Central Ave.
Kansas City, KS 66102

Events, Photography, Publicity, and Graphic Design & Development

  • LeAnn Meyer, Communications Coordinator
  • Nikki Pirch, Graphic Designer
  • Aubrey Burgess, Graphic Design Intern
  • Bayli Rindels, Events Coordinator and Donor Relations
  • Leah Hallstrom, Communications & Advancement

Coordination, Preparation and Installation Exhibits

Program Advisory Board

  • Conner Mulkey, Community Engagement Intern
  • Natalie Mahan, Undergraduate Learning Specialist
  • Samantha Bishop Simmons, Undergraduate Learning Specialist
  • Kelly Spavin, Research & Learning Program Coordinator
  • Sarah Goodwin Thiel, KU Libraries Exhibits Program Coordinator

Gallery Preparation

  • Jeromy Horkman, Director of Public Operations
  • Pam Wagner, Technology Coordinator
  • John Rinnert, IT Coordinator

Tamara Falicov and Marta Caminero-Santangelo
Sept. 21, 2018 | 9:30-11 a.m. | Watson Three West

Kathryn Vaggalis
Oct. 30, 2018 | 2-3:30 p.m. | Watson Three West

The Haricombe Gallery promotes the creative scholarship of our campus community, highlights the strength of the libraries' collections, and works in partnership with cultural venues internal and external to KU.