In an intensifying climate of fear and exclusion, Boston #StandsWithImmigrants (SWI) is a public art project emblazoning the city of Boston with the faces of local immigrants and refugees, highlighting their contributions and showing the world we stand with them in solidarity.
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The project is part portrait series, part public art installation. SWI works with town leaders to identify and photograph the region’s most compelling immigrants and refugees – from business leaders to agricultural workers, policemen, doctors, scientists, cleaners, politicians and more. Then, using cinema-grade technology, SWI projects those faces onto Boston’s landscape where they tower several-stories high, inhabiting trees, buildings, bridges and more. The projections are both interactive – people happen upon them, which invites speculation, in-the-moment conversation and reflection – and enduring – photos of the projections will live on as a stand-alone body of work that will travel the world through galleries and social media.
Through this project, we seek to make evident — in a visually arresting, yet human way – that immigrants and refugees are integral to the fabric of our society. And that ‘they’ are in fact ‘us.’
Boston #StandsWithImmigrants debuted as an exhibit at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate in May, 2018. With partner support, including MIRA: Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Irish International Immigrant Center, International Institute of New England, Suitcase Stories, and the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement, the team is excited to continue to influence hearts and minds and hopefully bring #StandsWithImmigrants to new cities in 2019.