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Humanities Seminar: Works in the Works – The Golden Venture Paper Sculptures at the Museum of Chinese in America
[icon name=”map-marker” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Venue: A631
[icon name=”calendar” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2015 at 1:00 pm
Housed in New York City’s Museum of Chinese in America is the Fly to Freedom collection of paper sculptures created by detainees of the Golden Venture, a freighter used to smuggle undocumented immigrants into the U.S. On June 6, 1993, the ship ran aground off the Rockaways and 300 migrants were detained by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. To help pass the time as they sought political asylum, many produced paper sculptures of ships, fruit, and eagles, which their advocates called “freedom birds.” This American symbol of freedom and individuality was a contrast to the persona non grata status of the detainees caught in an escalation of anti-immigration policies. This talk examines issues of cultural and artistic transmission; the communal and individual agency of the disenfranchised; and the importance of gift giving among this group.