As millions of people living in the United States hold our breath in the face of a president-elect who seems hell-bent on waging war on immigrants, a series of recent events orchestrated by Culture Lab Detroit proved themselves to be exceptionally timely.
“Culture Lab Detroit’s 2016 theme is ‘Walls,'” Culture Lab Detroit founder Jane Schulak says. “Participants in this year’s programs are all connected by their interest in reconsidering the structures which define our lives.”
This was certainly the case at “Art and the immigrant experience,” a panel discussion featuring performers and artists Migguel Anggelo, Kia Arriaga, Rola Nashef, and Chido Johnson, and moderated by Gracie Xavier, director of corporate and economic development strategy at Global Detroit.
“We chose panelists whose work specifically addresses the immigrant identity, and the challenges of living between two cultural worlds,” Schulak says. “This is more important today than it was even a week ago. It was particularly interesting to discuss the evolution of voting privileges for immigrants following this election. I think overall we found that we all have a deep connection to our cultural roots, but also evolve as members of the community we surround ourselves with.
“No matter what our background, we ultimately share the same human experience.”