At the foot of the Statue of Liberty, where 12 million immigrants passed in to the U.S., a team of multimedia artists with a new project called Immigrant Nation will be working with visitors to record this week their stories and add them to a live piece of art being created and installed at Ellis Island.
“Whether you arrived just recently or your family came to the U.S. generations ago, the millions of immigrants and descendants of immigrants who make up our nation have something important in common,” said Immigrant Nation Project Director Theo Rigby. “We all have unique experiences, aspirations, and stories that deserve—and need—to be told. Immigrant Nation will bring those stories up to the surface.”
Immigrant Nation is a new interactive storytelling project designed to collect a vast range of unique immigrant narratives and experiences and share them with the world. It includes live events to engage diverse communities in telling their individual and collective stories, a series of short documentary films about immigration experiences, and, as of this week, a brand new interactive story hub.
The story hub is a living collection of narratives by new immigrants, like the high school student who tells his story of living as a refugee in the U.S., and the DREAMer who recounts her story of crossing the border as a child. It’s also a place where the descendants of immigrants to share stories of their families and ancestors, like the young woman who, at the age of 15, crossed the Atlantic Ocean without her family, traveling from Turkey to New York City.
“When we came here, I was so happy that I was in America,” said Doukenie Babayanie Bacos. “I saw the statue of Liberty and I said, “Lady, you’re beautiful. You open your arms and you get all the foreigners here. Give me a chance.”