Video installation explores experiences of the undocumented

What does it mean to be undocumented in this time of crisis? What does it mean to be undocumented while living an everyday, regular life? “From Land to Land,” a video and sound installation created by Professor Dehanza Rogers, explores the vulnerabilities of status. The exhibit will run from Sunday, April 22, through April 29 at the Cherry Artspace, 102 Cherry St. in Ithaca. The free exhibit will be open from 2pm - 7pm daily.

A reception will open the exhibit, at 2 pm April 22, featuring an introduction with Rogers, assistant professor of performing and media arts. At 3:30 pm on Sunday April 29, the last day of the exhibit, a panel discussion will discuss the state of the U.S. immigration system and what one can do locally to support those at high risk.

“From Land to Land’ includes an oversized traditional video screen that dominates the room, showing undocumented families in crisis. Rogers designed the installation to also 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 effected by bureaucracy and the callousness of the current administration.”

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

Rogers received her BA from California State University, Northridge, in anthropology and two MFA’s — in production/directing and cinematography — from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Theater, Film, and Television.

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

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 Black woman hugging her daughter in a scene from "From Land to Land" film