In July, a group of six artists between the ages of 16 and 20 started working together at the Pitt as part of the School of Collaboration and Invention (SOCAI). Through their discussions, they rapidly developed the concept for a one-day exhibition on the subject of immigration and migration, and we scheduled it for a weekend in August.

We didn’t know at the time that anti-immigrant and anti-refugee agitation would come to a head in such a dramatic way this summer. Obviously we could look around ourselves and see the massing of neo-nazi, white supremacist, anti-asian, and other despicable groups using lies about immigration as an issue to draw in gullible, angry followers. But at the time we scheduled IM/MIGRATION AF for Saturday, August 19, we didn’t foresee Charlottesville (just the week before), and anti-fascist groundswells in response to proposed racist rallies in several cities on the same day.

So this one-day show is effectively our response, deftly and intelligently composed by the participants of this summer’s SOCAI session, to the intolerance that is being promoted around us. Thanks to Jonathan Blessin, Lucas Chung, Sarah Kim, Tamsyn Kushner, Ashley Kusumoto, Wendel Vistan, and SOCAI organizer Lisa Novak. And congratulations to the many, many people who stood against hatred today.

Posted by:Kay Higgins

Executive Director of UNIT/PITT from 2010 to 2018. Artist, writer, publisher.