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Video/sound installation explores undocumented lives

What does it mean to be undocumented? More specifically, what does it mean to be undocumented while living an everyday, regular life?

“From Land to Land,” a video and sound installation created by Dehanza Rogers, assistant professor of performing and media arts, explores the vulnerabilities of status. The free exhibit will run from Sunday, April 22, through Sunday, April 29, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily at the Cherry Artspace in Ithaca.

A reception will open the exhibit at 2 p.m. April 22, featuring an introduction with Rogers. At 3:30 p.m. on the final day of the exhibit, a panel will discuss the state of the U.S. immigration system and what one can do locally to support those at high risk of deportation.

“From Land to Land” includes an oversized traditional video screen that dominates the room, showing undocumented families in crisis. Rogers designed the installation to require participation from the audience, who must lean in and listen at a door to hear the story of an undocumented Cornell student whose status could leave him unprotected and vulnerable.

“People are being forced behind closed doors, keeping their stories and themselves quiet and invisible,” says Rogers. “This invisibility allows for the stripping away of the humanity of those affected by bureaucracy and the callousness of the current administration.”

An award-winning filmmaker of narratives and documentaries, Rogers’ work has screened nationally and internationally. A Panamanian-American, her films explore the African diaspora, race, statehood in relation to identity and youth culture.

Rogers received her B.A. from California State University, Northridge, in anthropology and two MFAs – in production/directing and cinematography – from the University of California, Los Angeles.

“From Land to Land’ is funded in part by the Cornell Council for the Arts and the Department of Performing and Media Arts.

Linda B. Glaser is a writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson