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From the beginning, Newest Americans was designed to engage people, to meet them where they live and amplify their voices. To that end, we have hosted public humanities events, designed interactive stories, held photo camps, mounted exhibitions, and developed tours, both virtual and real. These are all opportunities to immerse in our storytelling.

Climates of Inequality

National Tour

Climates of Inequality is a project of the Humanities Action Lab, a coalition of universities housed at Rutgers University-Newark working with issue organizations and public spaces to create traveling public projects on the past, present, and future of pressing social issues.

Climates of Inequality is a participatory public memory project created by students, educators, and community leaders in over 20 cities across the US and around the world. Local teams work together to activate the histories of “frontline” communities: those who have contributed the least to the climate crisis but bear its heaviest burdens. Their multi-media portraits expose the roots of current environmental injustice, and share generations of frontline communities’ strategies for resistance, resilience, and mitigation. The project promotes future visions for confronting the climate crisis that understand, and undo, past environmental harms. By compiling these histories in an evolving, internationally traveling exhibit with local events at every stop, this project seeks to affirm frontline communities’ work and inspire others to action for climate and environmental justice.

cit.i.zen.ship: reflections on rights

New York, NY

Images from the Newest Americans immigrant detention series “Detained” were included in an exhibition at the Department of Photography and Imaging Galleries at New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

This exhibition was part of For Freedoms’ 50 State Initiative, a non-partisan, nationwide campaign to use art as a means of inspiring civic participation in advance of the 2018 midterm elections. For Freedoms was founded by artists in 2016 as a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action in the United States. For Freedoms uses art to deepen public discussions of civic issues and core values, and to clarify that citizenship in American society is dependent on participation, not ideology.

October 4, 2018 – January 18, 2019 • New York, NY

National Geographic Photo Camp

Washington, D.C.

Newest Americans has hosted two National Geographic Photo Camps, one in Newark and the other in Malta.

Images from the Newark Camp were featured in the National Geographic Photo Camp exhibition at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. The exhibition showcased 100 powerful photographs taken by refugees and underserved youth over the past several years.

We Found Our Way: Portraits from the Great Migration

Newark, NJ

We Found Our Way, an exhibition at the Newark Public Library was curated by Newest Americans program director Dr. Samantha Boardman. The exhibit revolved around the remarkable narratives from the Krueger‐Scott African‐American Oral History Collection.

This collection, assembled in the late 1990s under the direction of Catherine J. Lenix‐Hooker, documents the stories of Newark’s African‐American citizens who migrated to the city between 1910‐1970. The result is over 100 interviews with men and women who left the segregated, Jim Crow South to make better lives for themselves and their families. Ms. Lenix‐Hooker emphasizes the importance of these interviews as not only “eyewitnesses to the city in the 21st century,” but also as a “solid body of evidence” documenting “the major contributions African‐Americans have made to the city [in] over eight decades of Newark’s rich history.”

February 4 -April 4, 2016 • Newark, NJ

For examples of other ways we have engaged with the Krueger-Scott collection click on the buttons below.

Photoville: Opening Night + Exhibit

Brooklyn, NY

In 2017, Newest Americans participated in Photoville, the largest festival of photojournalism in New York City, drawing over 80,000 visitors. This visual extravaganza at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge uses shipping containers as galleries and hosts nightly presentations.

Opening Night

We kicked off the festival with a grand opening night presentation from a stage in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, projecting several of our photo and video stories, and interviewing characters from those projects. We ended the night with a performance by musicians from our film “Notes For My Homeland” playing Arabic classical music accompanied by a whirling dervish.

The Exhibit

Our exhibition was an opportunity not only to share our work, but to ask visitors to lend their voices in representing who we are and how we got here. Our Arrivals Booth – where visitors could take a photograph and share their stories about how they and their families came to the United States – drew over 500 people. The result is in an incredible mosaic of human migration, resilience and cross pollination. It is a celebration of the complex factors that brought us together at this moment, in this place. What could be more salient at a time when our nation is debating what it means to be American and who deserves to claim that mantle?

September 13-24, 2017 • Brooklyn, NY

GlassBook Project: Provisions

Newark, NJ

Working with photography professor Nick Kline’s Glassbook project and GlassRoots studio in Newark, students created abstract portraits in glass inspired by interviews from Newark’s Krueger-Scott African-American Oral History Collection. These books were then exhibited at the Project for Empty Space Gallery in Newark.

GlassBook Project: Brick by Brick

Newark, NJ

Brick By Brick is a collection of artists books created by undergraduates in a Newest Americans class co-taught by Newest Americans co-founder Tim Raphael with Newark artists paulA Neves and Adrienne Wheeler.

In the first half of the semester students researched the life histories of Portuguese, Brazilian and other Lusophone immigrants in Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood. In the second half of the semester, inspired by some of the over 300 interviews in the Ironbound Oral History Archive, each student chose a story and made a glass book – an abstract portrait inspired by one of the oral histories.

This class-collection-exhibition model using oral histories as primary sources builds on the previous Newest Americans and GlassBook Project class and collection, Provisions, which was exhibited at the Gateway Gallery in Newark in 2015.

Paul Robeson Gallery in Express Newark: April 29, 2017 – August 31, 2017

Newark Public Library, Ironbound Branch: Sept. 9, 2017 – December 15, 2017

States of Incarceration

Newark, NJ

In collaboration with the Humanities Action Lab (HAL), Newest Americans co-curated the Newark iteration of HAL’s national touring exhibit States of Incarceration with Project For Empty Space, First Friends of New York and New Jersey, and the American Studies doctoral program at Rutgers University- Newark. The exhibit, Seeking Asylum, Resisting Detention, also featured Newest Americans co-founder Ed Kashi’s almost life -size portraits of asylum seekers detained in the region. Using a mobile phone to scan QR codes on the photo captions, gallery-goers received a phone call from each detainee describing their experience.

Project for Empty Space, October 18, 2017 – December 15, 2017