'Laberinto de miradas': Global Immigrant Identities
From the LA Times:
CERTAIN IMAGES of migrants almost have become clichés in our globalized world of perpetual human movement: Mexican families sloshing across the Rio Grande in the dead of night, young African men huddled over dull campfires in Spanish detainee camps.
But other, less commonplace images challenge preconceived ideas of what it means to be an "undocumented worker," "illegal alien" or simply a person with no fixed home or identity, stranded between shifting borders.
As illustrated by “Laberinto de Miradas” (Labyrinth of Glances), a provocative photo and video exhibition that's on display at the Cultural Center of Spain [in Mexico City] through August, immigration today wears many faces. It's a middle-class Argentine woman, driven into exile by her country's 2001 peso collapse. A Cuban man who bears the scars of jail time served for trying to flee to Miami. Hundreds of Brazilians of mixed ethnicities, body types and attitudes, mostly economic refugees from other parts of the country, all crammed into a ramshackle São Paulo apartment building, striving to co-exist.
"At the end of the story, all of us are immigrants," says Federico Gama, a Mexican photographer whose work is included in the show. "All of us are in a search for something. We would like to be on another side. And also in the sense of, well, where do we belong?"
Taking an unusually expansive view of what immigration means, the show documents how practically any social unit -- rich Mexican women, Spanish sunbathers, Brazilian gay-pride parade marchers, U.S. Panama Canal Zone workers -- can constitute an "immigrant" culture, a community of internal exiles, within its own society.
This exhibit sounds amazing, I would love to check it out, but alas, not enough money for a quick trip to Mexico City this summer. If anybody does get a chance to see it, I'd love to hear about it! Check out the website for more information and some cool visuals [warning: its in Spanish].