Paradoxically, to internalise the discovery that another person is a stranger, with their own inner-life and uniquely ''other'' perspective,is a rare but real contact with another subjectivity; Our differences define both our individualism as well as our inseparable connection. This dichotomy between how we strive to shape our own lives individually towards our own goals and how we interact with strangers in a common space lies at the heart of the human condition, and it becomes particularly pronounced in times of mass migration, when cultures of apparent contrast are forced to interlace with one another.
We See Heaven Upside Down is a dialog responding to the contemporary yet also, in fundamental ways, reoccurring challenges of migration and displacement related to the unique human experience.
Based on a concept by artists/educators MyLoan Dinh & Lee Baumgarten that began in 2015, it develops as an international collaboration of minds to stimulate conversation & understanding - with the intent to draw a supportive, connecting line between displacement, individuals and their journey.
What we see, depends on where we stand. The project perspectives from non migratory, immigrant and refugee backgrounds and has several objectives:
- shifting one's perspective brings us closer towards understanding others with different circumstances and life experiences
- breaking down barriers surrounded by fears, misconceptions/stereotypes and prejudices
- offering opportunities to those who have experienced the emotional disorientation and trauma of flight to employ their creative abilities/strength and share their individual stories with the community
"Migration is – and always has been - a fundamental part of human life. People move to escape conflict and brutality but also to improve their opportunities and in search of a better life; historically such mobility has contributed to development, growth and more broadly to economic and social change for individuals and societies. Yet managing global migration is not without its challenges, as recent events in Europe and beyond demonstrate." The Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
Refugee: A person seeking refuge who, by reason of real or imagined danger, has left their home or country of nationality & is unwilling or unable to return.
Heaven: A condition or place of joy and happiness.
Upside Down: in such a way that the upper and the lower parts are reversed in position; in or into great disorder.
"Our vision is to create a body of expressive work through drawings, paintings, photography, sculptural installations and other art forms that open/stimulate the dialogue between identity, displacement, journey and hope. The goal is to construct a mental, physical and emotional navigational experience."
Migration 1: Exhibition, June 4 - 19, 2016 - NOVILLA Center for Arts, Berlin, Germany
Migration 2: Exhibition, Developing installation, Creative Workshops, Performance- July 8 -17, 2016 - Kunst am SpreeKnie Arts Festival, Berlin, Germany
Migration 3: Moving installation in/through public places, September thru November 2016, North Carolina & South Carolina, USA
Migration 4: Exhibition & Dance Theatre Performance (performed by Moving Poets Charlotte) - USA, 2017, specific dates and location to be announced
Migration 5 and beyond - dates and locations to be announced.
more info follows