Saturday, March 20, 2004

Get Out There

Many of us sit around on a weekend and do
nothing. Doing nothing is good. Usually I like
to do a combo of something and nothing.
Too much of one or the other is not good.

Today I did something.

Today we went to Queens Museum of Art
and stumbled across this amazing exhibit called,
'Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens
in a new America'. This is one of the most humbling,
interesting and beautiful exhibits I've seen in a while.
It satisfied every creative part in me with it's beautiful
photos and fantastic writing and interviews of a
number of new immigrants and refugees currently
living in Queens, New York.

The documentary style exhibit was a three-year
journey by it's creators Warren Leher and Judith
Sloan who interviewed everyone from taxi drivers
from Tajikistan to bodega owners from Mexico.
This is the real deal. Photos and stories about
various people sharing and comparing their
lives from their homeland to their current
experiences living here in America.

Each person interviewed had a large self-portrait
taken and underneath featured a tiny map of
where they are from, a photo of where they
currently live in Queens and a tiny blurb on
what it's like living here. These elements
combined were a rich mixture of info for
the viewer to get a tiny sliver of understanding
of what life must be like for the individuals
featured.

I think this exhibit should be a mandatory field
trip for every NYC classroom. Better yet someone
please move it to Soho (The New Musuem?) where
a bunch of rich white Americans can act shocked
and stunned and wowed at the thought that the
man at the coffee cart they visit each morning
ACTUALLY was a Neurosurgeon back in Cairo.
Wow.

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