At the 2016 Folklife Festival, On the Move: Immigration and Migration Today was a space that invited visitors to consider how immigration and migration both challenges and energizes culture. Through discussion and performance, we explored how the movement of individuals, families, and even entire communities impacts our identities, culture, and everyday lives.
Where is “home”? How does moving change the way we define ourselves? How do we connect the traditions of past generations with those of new communities? What happens to those who have been left behind? How might we help others immigrating or migrating today? If forced to move, what would we do and what would we take? How would we cope with the challenges of migration and immigration? By talking about these questions with those who have had to answer them, we gain insight into the complex cultural and social context in which immigration and migration occurs.
This space hosted workshops on collecting family histories and poetry sessions and sing-alongs conveying the immigrant experience through verse and music. Visitors were invited to share their personal narratives, contribute to community stories, and map their own experience of being “on the move.”
Presentations and activities were led by our partners and special guests, including the American Anthropological Association, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, Basque Library of the University of Nevada, Basque Museum and Cultural Center, National Museum of American History, Radio Bilingüe, and others.
Mapping on the Move
More than just static points on a map, where we come from and the home we long for are places that we knit together by our movements. Help us create a story map by contributing your own experiences to our “Mapping on the Move” digital activity.
Take this anonymous online survey to place yourself on our collective map, then see how your story intersects with others who are also on the move.