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Year 2011

December 18 International Migrants Day

Thank you to everyone who participated in December 18 International Migrants Day of Artist Actions! There were over 200 actions taking place around the world in response to immigrant respect. Each action was also represented on sign at the ‘Immigrants Occupy’ OWS march for International Migrants Day in New York City.

Calling All Supporters: We Invite YOU to Join Immigrant Movement International at OWS Immigrant March in NYC


Calling All Supporters: We Invite YOU to Join Immigrant Movement International in a Global Action on International Migrants Day (Sunday, December 18th) at OWS Immigrant March in NYC
(Información en Español abajo)

In recognition of International Migrants Day on December 18th, artists, cultural producers, members of local communities and supporters will come together in New York City for a rally and march for immigrant rights in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement.  Immigrant Movement International will march and read aloud the IM International Migrant Manifesto, a declaration of 10 principles re-conceptualizing the 21st century immigrant condition that was recently presented to the public for the first time at the United Nations Student Conference on Human Rights.

Leading up to the march, IM International put forth an open call for global participants to stage an action on December 18 at 2pm local time in recognition of immigrant respect. In order to represent and highlight the 170+ compelling actions that various participants have planned throughout the world, IM International will feature each participant’s name and location on a sign to be held by one person in the march.  Each marcher will be assigned a specific global project to represent throughout the day and will therefore play a significant role in this historic event.

If you are able to join me, Tania Bruguera, and IM International on December 18, please RSVP to united@immigrant-movement.us with “D18 MARCH” in the subject line so that you can be matched with an international project.

For more information and complete descriptions of the global actions set to take place on December 18, visit: immigrant-movement.us/december18/

Follow the December 18 actions and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #D18.

What: December 18th  – ’Immigrants Occupy’ Rally and March for International Migrants Day

Who: Immigrant Movement International and OWS Immigrant Workers Justice Group

For Whom: Artists, Activists, and Supporters of immigrant respect

Where and When: 
Sunday, December 18:

1:30pm “Immigrant Occupy” Rally begins in Foley Square
2:00pm Participants, volunteers, and public join IM International at southeast corner of Worth and Lafayette
2:15pm Reading of Migrant Manifesto
2:30pm Signs are handed out to participants, then join rally
3:00pm March to Zuccotti Park
3:30pm March enters Zuccotti Park
4:00pm General Assembly at Zuccotti Park
6:00pm General Assembly concludes

How: Anyone interested in marching should rsvp by email to  united@immigrant-movement.us  with “D18 MARCH” in the subject line.

Please spread the word!  Thank you for your participation in this important action.




Un llamado a todos nuestros seguidores: Los invitamos a unirse al Movimiento Inmigrante Internacional en la Acción Global en el Día Internacional del Migrante (18 de Diciembre) en la marcha de OWS en la ciudad de Nueva York.

En reconocimiento del Día Internacional del Migrante el día 18 de Diciembre, artistas, productores culturales, miembros de la comunidad local y todos los que nos apoyan nos reuniremos en la ciudad de Nueva York para una marcha y manifestación para los derechos del inmigrante en solidaridad con el movimiento de Occupy Wall Street. El Movimiento Inmigrante Internacional, proyecto que se encuentra en marcha en Corona, Queens, iniciado por Tania Bruguera, marchara y leerá en voz alta el Manifesto del Migrante del MI Internacional, una declaración de 10 principios que re-conceptualizan la condición del inmigrante del siglo 21, el cual fue presentado por primera vez al público en la conferencia estudiantil sobre Derechos Humanos en las Naciones Unidas.

En vísperas de la marcha, el MI Internacional lanzo una convocatoria abierta a nivel global para que participantes efectuaran acciones el día 18 de Diciembre a las 2pm, hora local, en reconocimiento del respeto al inmigrante. Para destacar y reconocer las 170+ acciones que los varios participantes han planeado al rededor del mundo, el MI Internacional presentará el nombre de cada participante y su locación en una pancarta la cual será cargada por una persona en la marcha. Un proyecto global específico será asignado a cada marchante para ser representada a través del día, los cuales tendrán  un significativo rol en este histórico evento.

Si pueden unirse a Tania Bruguera y el MI Internacional el 18 de Diciembre por favor RSPV a united@immigrnat-movement.us escribiendo en el asunto “D18 MARCH” para así ser asignado un proyecto.

Para más información y una descripción complete de las acciones globales  que se llevaran a cabo el 18 de Diciembre, visiten: immigrant-movement.us/decembre18/

Sigan las acciones del !8 de Diciembre y únanse a la conversación en Twitter usando el hashtag #D18

Qué: Diciembre 18 – Marcha y Manifestación para el DIa Internacional del Migrante

Quién: El Movimiento Inmigrante Internacional y el OWS Immigrant Workers Justice Working Group

Donde y Cuando:
Domingo, 18 de Diciembre:

1:30 pm  Manifestación de “Immigrant Occupy” comienza en Foley Square
2:00pm participantes, voluntarios, y el público se unen al MI Internacional en la esquina sureste de Worth y Lafayette
2:15pm Lectura del Manifesto del Migrante
2:30pm Las pancartas serán repartidas a los participantes, unión con la manifestación.
3:00pm Marcha a Zuccotti Park
4:00pm Asamblea General en Zuccotti Park
6:00pm Cierre de la Asamblea General

Cómo: los interesados en marchar deben enviar un correo a united@immigrnat-movement.us con el asunto “D18 MARCH”

Por favor corran la voz! Gracias por participar en esta importante acción.



Nov. 27 ‘Make a Movement’ Sunday: Immigrant Respect Campaign Launch

December 18 International Migrants Day Open Call for Actions

First public reading of the Migrant Manifesto.
2011 United Nations Students Conference on Human Rights.
December 2, 2011.

DECEMBER 18 Open invitation for actions
on international migrants day

Leading up to December 18, designated “International Migrants Day”

by the United Nations, Immigrant Movement International is mobilizing
artists, immigrants, activists, and interested members of the public
across the globe to develop projects related to the issues and
experiences of migration.


United Nations Official Letter of Support for Dec. 18 Artist Actions

Oct. 23rd Speech, Boston MA

The Occupy Movement gave me back the possibility of believing in democracy and in the power of the people. This is beautiful. I love you.

The first “free” elections I witnessed in my life were in the United States in the year 2000. I was extremely excited. After so many years hearing about democracy, I was here in the United States – the place FOR and ABOUT democracy. Now I would learn what that was all about.

The night of the election, I remember listening to my American friend’s explanation of the electoral college. My friend, a citizen who voted, was not as excited about the process and went to the other room to keep working. I wondered why she would not want to be with me, looking towards next 4 years of her country, when she was always in front of the TV to see every detail of a football game. I did not understand this seemingly misplaced enthusiasm. Did she not care or was it that working and earning money was more important than who governs? I was truly disturbed, alone in the living room locked into the TV reports, pen-in-hand, tracking the election on a color map of the country I’d taken from the newspaper, with of course a glass of Coca Cola. I was so excited, I was extremely attentive, I didn’t want to miss any detail, I was learning. I felt this knowledge could benefit my country – Cuba – at another moment. I could spread the word of what democracy was and how it functions. I felt I was being given a very special gift.

Then the Florida vote was announced. Gore wins! I run to inform my friend, who is surprised and kind of glad, but keeps typing, seeming amused by my enthusiasm. In a little bit I come back to inform my friend that the Florida vote has gone to Bush. My friend was enraged –  because I was interfering in her work. She explained to me again with frustration how I did not understand democracy and how my lack of English didn’t help.  She said an immigrant could not understand democracy, of course. But I had understood. In the next days, the controversy unfolded, and my fears were justified. As an immigrant, my first encounter with democracy was witnessing a broken system. I was devastated. Where would I look to now?

In the following days of deception, I kept telling my friends to go to the streets, to go and protest.  I wanted to see here what I could not see in my country – free expression, direct democracy, the power of the people. My friend told me that Americans believed in the system and they had to go with the law.  I was paralyzed, I was not given “permission” to participate, I was told that it was not “my” problem. I was wandering around like a political zombie, confused while I was witnessing the birth of a capitalist dictatorship, something I could identify because I had seen it in the country I came from.

I’m always surprised when people dismiss the knowledge an immigrant brings with them.

Immigrant is a word that I struggle to understand. I don’t understand the need to separate people because of the place they were physically born. One can be born more than once, one can decide to start over, and that is what happens when people leave their countries of origin, when they come to the United States. They are re-born.

But to have a second chance in the United States comes with a handicap. As an immigrant you are considered a second class citizen, you have to see your daughter go to work as an eternal waitress even when she has the best grades in her high school and wants to go to college and become a great biologist. That dream is not going to happen because of laws made to separate people, and to perpetuate modern slavery. The fact that you came here with a dream will not give you access to that dream.

We speak mostly of the immigrants who “made it” – the ones that have millions and are celebrities – but what of those many amazing people who are immigrants and have not been allowed to make it? Why do they have to be criminalized for the sole reason that they are not part of the 1%? The immigrants that I know are the bravest people I have ever met. They are the ones believing, they are they ones keeping the American Dream alive, even when it is evident that they hardly have access to it, when the American Dream has become a mirage.

Nobody has the right to kill someone’s dream. Nobody has the right to make the American Dream illegal.

Yesterday we were at ROCA in Chelsea, talking with a wonderful group of people, mostly immigrants. We ended the conversation by talking about what each of us want for the children of our communities – immigrant children. Everyone said to be treated as an equal.  I have heard that before, when people talk about the years of the civil rights battles. Immigration is today’s civil rights battle. Immigration is a war, created by the 1%.

Immigrant is a word that does not represent us, we are not defined by being a person that comes from another place, we are not cheap labor for wealthy companies, we are a new global class. We are the engine of change – and the Occupy Movement is proof of that.

The call for this movement came from Adbusters, a Canadian magazine. A few weeks before we started to occupy Wall Street, the first planning meetings included people, living in the United States, who came here from Greece, Spain, Tunisia and Egypt, people who were transmitting their knowledge, their experience with earlier movements. It was from them that we learned the ways in which the General Assemblies were conducted, the contradictions and challenges we were going to go through with our movement. They were here and they were part of our movement. Some of them where undocumented immigrants and their status was not important to any of us planning the occupation – nobody asked about their legal status. We were all living together. The movement grew, more people joined, many immigrants blending with the rest as equals, dedicating their knowledge and sleepless hours, so that we could together build this amazing movement – a global movement redefining the very idea of democracy.

In this movement – a movement that speaks beyond borders – it makes no sense to cling to an old definition of national identities that restrict who people can be, what they can contribute and whether they can participate. This is a time of responsibility – a responsibility first to make this space safe for all, including immigrants, and then a responsibility to take this new democracy beyond this square.

Tania Bruguera, October 23, 2011

October 23: Immigration Forum at Occupy Boston



as part of the Free School University Immigration Forum

at Occupy Boston, Dewey Square

Immigration Forum begins at 12pm

About The Free School University Forum at Occupy Boston

The Free School University at Occupy Boston hosts an Immigration Forum to address immigrant representation in the 99% and to host other conversations around immigration-related concerns. Please click here to view or download a call to participate in the Immigration Forum, circulated on behalf of Free School University. Please contact obimmigrationforum@gmail.com.

About Immigrant Movement International

Born from Bruguera’s interest in arte útil (useful art) and her concerns for the political representation and conditions facing immigrants, Immigrant Movement International is an artist-initiated socio-political movement. Currently operating form a flexible storefront community space in Queens, New York, IM International is a five-year project with a global scope. Its mission is to help define the immigrant as a unique, new global citizen in a post-national world. This is a multi-year project encompassing art and organizing efforts in cities all over the world.

Interview with Tania Bruguera and Joanna Zielińska for Magazyn Sztuki Poland

Joanna Zielińska: Where is your home?

Tania Bruguera: Being an immigrant means that the concept of home doesn’t exist. That doesn’t mean that you are a gregarious type, or that you have no capacity for affection for your current location, and it has nothing to do with valuing your new circumstances. You can be an immigrant who has encountered a better situation at your present physical location. For example, you may have learned to know for the first time how it feels to be free, or understood how much better the life you live now is from the life you lived before migrating, you can go as far as to negate your past and with it, the place you came from, what people would call “home”.  You may joyfully embrace a new culture and a new set of beliefs, and you can acquire a status that even natives of the country you live in now may never achieve, but none of this changes the fact that being an immigrant is entering the condition of being “homed”, being someone that sees “home” in past tense.

Sometimes immigrants are not allowed to exercise their right to imagine a better future and try to build it; under those circumstances is very difficult to feel “home”, which forces to keep you in a “homed” condition.

People mistake this temporary incapacity to “have a home” with an incapacity to commit and give their best to the new place they live in, which is one of the biggest mistakes and sources of frictions when new migrants arrive in communities. On the contrary, immigrants are so determined to have a home again that this is often the force that drives them to work harder than anybody when they arrive in their new cities and countries. It is not about demonstrating to people that they belong, it is about their desire to create memories, trustworthiness, and to find home again. There are other loyalties beyond to the place where one grew up, including the sense of belonging. That should be the right of every human being in the 21st century.

Sometimes the people in the receiving “home” create conditions for immigrants that hinder their ability to imagine and build what goes beyond “today”, even when immigrants imagine a better future. For many immigrant, home is the process of learning what the future he imagines is, while other, more privileged immigrants have the option to decide where they want to belong.

In the 21st century we need to acquire other ways to create loyalties towards the future. In this global era of mobility we need to change the concept of home to one that goes beyond economic models and focuses on ethical ones.


J.Z.: What is your role in Immigrant Movement International? How are you going to run this project? What will be the outcome of the project in a few months time?

T.B.: I’m the initiator of this project. I prefer not to talk in terms of authorship, since this is a collective effort with various degrees of collaboration, which is conceptually vital. In order for the project to be real and exist it needs to be appropriated by others, who feel that they have an equal part to play. It is the only way it becomes political and real. I do not say I’m the founder because I do not pursue building that kind of institution.

The project is five years long, so while there is continuity, each year will be devoted to a specific focus. This first year, presented by Creative Time and the Queens Museum of Art, is to learn and create the foundation of the project, readjusting the ideas I came in with as I implement them in the real. This year is also to produce the project’s identity, defining some of the concepts that I will be using, creating alliances, and experimenting with the relationship between art and politics.

I’m working with art and politics in this project in four main ways: long term, hyperrealist, political-timing specific, and useful art.

A long-term project for me is a work method that falls within social dynamics and, therefore, makes use of social tempo for production and for the implementation of the project. Long-term projects are best experienced when the audience incorporates into the process and the dynamics generated by the project, which demands a larger commitment from them than experiencing art in a more passive and purely artistic context. Very frequently these works are experienced in a fragmented way, either because the project is larger than the commitment from the audience, or because of the natural progressive evolution of the project. Audiences may also be seeing it out of context due to inaccessibility of the project or lack of direct participation.

Hyperrealism is a method for this project not only because it reproduces areas of society that can barely be distinguished from the real, but also because it works in the realm of the real, with great care and regard for the actual consequences of the project.

Political-timing specific is a work method in which the piece is linked to, and depends on, the political circumstances existing in the moment it is made or exhibited. It is a type of work created to exist at a specific political moment and, therefore, once the moment goes by, the piece loses its potential political impact and tends to become a documentation of a specific political moment. The political moment informs the piece, making it a structure that must adapt to the evolution of the political events and their interpretations.

My final method, Useful Art, aims to transform some aspects of society through the implementation of art, transcending symbolic representation or metaphor and proposing solutions for deficits in the real. Most Useful Art projects are structured as long-term projects and are dictated by the practical impact of their strategies. Useful Art practices try to address the level of disparity of engagement between informed audiences and the general public, as well as the historical gap between the language used in what is considered avant-garde and the language of urgent politics, science and other disciplines.

I have created the Useful Art Association in the process of working on Immigrant Movement International to provide a platform to meet, exchange ideas, and share strategies on how to deal with the issues of implementing the merger of art into society. The Association will work in an open manner through discussions, printed texts, actions groups, and public events, examining what it means to create Useful Art.

In terms of the outcome of the project, in the next few months there will be two main events and various actions. One of the actions is the launch of the next issue #21 of Open Cahier—on the subject of art and the public domain—in the Immigrant Movement headquarters, where they will be exploring the limits of Hypermobility. We will also host events for the immigrant community with lawyers, launch a new awareness ribbon for immigrant respect to serve as an identifier for people who want to participate in the movement, and more. An updated schedule of activities is available at www.immigrant-movement.us.

Immigrant Movement International will also host a two-day conference on November 4th and 5th to discuss issues relating to immigration and the shared experience of all migrants. The event will conclude with the drafting of a Bill of Rights for migrants developed by a team of immigration experts, which we will then share publicly.

On December 18th, designated “International Migrants Day” by the United Nations, we are mobilizing artists and cultural producers across the world to develop projects related to the issues and experience of migration. The contemporary migrant challenges traditional notions of identity based on common nationality or culture, and instead points us to a new, shared experience of the condition of migration itself. We want people to contribute with their creative actions, which we will document on our website.

Before the first year ends, I hope to create a system in the spirit of the creative commons, where the project can be used, shared and developed by others in various places. They could use all the identity elements we have created: its name—Immigrant Movement International, logo, projection, statements, working strategies, etc. I hope to ensure that it evolves, develops contradictions and increases awareness. I hope to build a global network to help sustain the movement. It is very important that each “branch”, each reiteration of the project come up with its own focus and strategies. I am not trying to create a franchise, rather to expand awareness and social change through creativity. So many people have asked for ways in which they could join the party, the movement, the project, and my answer is to start your own version of it, your own branch of it, bring your own experiences and perspectives to it. At the end we are all immigrants and we are all trying to conceive of a different future, where things are more just for all. This is a global problem that can and should be solved locally.

I am proud to say that from the beginning most people have seen this project as something that happens in reality, functions in the real world. This gives me three satisfactions: 1) that I do not have to start convincing people of the intricate dependency that political art has with the real; 2) that such an assumption reveals the pertinence of the project in the political arena and signals accurate specific political timing; and 3) that the art world is ready take the natural next steps for political art: functioning politically.


J.Z.: Would you be willing to prepare an instruction manual on making socially and politically engaged art? Could you give instructions or advice to artists and curators who would like to initiate this kind of project?

T.B.: I do not think I could do this with only one year of experiencing this political work/life. Sometimes what happens in art is that people misrepresent the amount of time needed, time in relationship to the intensity of experiences and what they learn from those experiences. I think this creates a big misunderstanding between artists and activists, artists and politicians. There is an out of sync timing situation that is seeing as lack of responsibility from one side and waste of time on the other.

At the same time, for the Berlin Biennale in 2012 I am doing a series of instructional, videos with people that were part of real social and political changes, sharing their experiences. The proposal was made and discussed way before the uprising of the Middle East (participants from these events are on the list of interviewees), and came out of my own frustration and desire to call for collective action. I wanted to see the possibility of proposing a different social and political system, whatever that could be. Again, it is all about political timing in order for art to be useful.

As I said before, this is my learning year so I do not know much, I can only invite people to walk that path with me.


J.Z.: Do you believe that social change can be effected through art?

T.B.: Absolutely. I’ve seen it happening. This is what drives all my work, this what makes me go on each morning and try to do art.

But, and a big one, the problem is the way in which art perceives its role in social change and the way it collaborates for it.

I’m interested in the artist not as a narrator or archivist of history, but as a producer of history; an agent that is in place when things are being shaped, when decisions are being made, acting in equal capacity of the rest of the agents of change. For that to happen you need brave and modest artists who are willing to give everything up for their agency in change. That doesn’t seem to be the way in which many artists see their role in society at this moment. I would like for the ideal world artists imagine to be created in the real, even if it is imperfect.


J.Z.: Do you sometimes think about failure?

T.B.: Yes absolutely, but the failure I think about is not the wanted and idealized failure that makes non-Useful Art enjoyable or frustration interesting. We already know what is not working and why it doesn’t. We need to start working on how to change things, how to make them different and how to make them work. I’m not interested in the effect that comes with frustration, but in the effectiveness the imperfections that come from failure can bring.

If you are doing art that works politically, the place of failure is not one of contemplation and glamorizing the impossible. On the contrary, it is the moment when you overcome the dysfunction, you enter a process of self-correcting, it is the moment of criticality. But it cannot stop there because this is the moment that produces creative change.

In political art one should not talk about failure but about imperfections.


Saturday, October 15, 2011 – 5:00 pm
Auditorium of the Museum of Arts and Design
2 Columbus Circle, NYC

To highlight the issues faced by queer immigrants in the United States, the grassroots organization QUEEROCRACY in collaboration with artist Carlos Motta present A New Discovery: Queer Immigration in Perspective. The event will feature presentations by leading queer immigration activists, a public conversation, and a video screening of a social intervention-based performance held by QUEEROCRACY and its allies on Columbus Day at Columbus Circle.

A New Discovery: Queer Immigration in Perspective attempts to bring attention to the way immigrant and queer politics intersect in the public sphere in ways that both confront, challenge and transform the state mechanisms that police borders and bodies in the United States. This dialogue strives to generate new ideas on how to better make a difference in the lives of queer people around the world.

Presentations and a public conversation by Felipe Baeza, New York State Youth Leadership Council; Hector Canonge, CINEMAROSACamilo Godoy, QUEEROCRACY; Jackie Vimo, activist and PhD Candidate in Politics The New School for Social Research; and video addresses by Tania Bruguera, Immigrant Movement International; and Rachel Tiven, Immigration Equality. Moderated by Carlos Motta, artist.








Temporary Status: Bulgarian Artists in America Exhibition & Party

Bulgarian artists in america (baa) at immigrant movement international 

temporary status

Friday, October 7, 2011  6pm-12am

Artists: Miryana Todorova, Georgi Tushev, Joro De Boro, Stanislava GeorgievaDaniela Kostova, Olivia Robinson.

“Always in motion, bodies and objects stay in a fluid state of change and potentiality: people get together or separate, accidents happen but what remains present is the exhilarating air of risk and uncertainty.” (Miryana Todorova about her work)

The ambition of this event is to highlight artists of Bulgarian origin who live in the U.S., by showcasing their creative practices. All the works presented at IM International are collaborations among the show’s participants, and reflect their immediate surroundings while creating a complex system of connections. They address issues of visibility, collectivity, crossing boundaries and overcoming limitations. Although the artists depend on each other in their work, they represent an open system that is seeking to connect and expand. Therefore we have invited a guest artist Olivia Robinson, part of our greater collaborative network.

The title Temporary Status reflects the in-between state of being an immigrant with a shifting bound to a particular geography, as well as the unstable mode of an art career defined by a specific contexts and level of recognition.

This event is the second in a series of initiatives by Bulgarian Artists in America (BAA), a professional organization that serves as a platform for artists and cultural workers of Bulgarian origin living in the U.S. The U.S. is home to the largest part of the Bulgarian diaspora, with NY’s highest concentration residing in Queens. In a similar context as Immigrant Movement International (IM International) initiated by Tania Bruguera, we find our role of creating a forum and serving this community’s needs through arts to be very important. Our events therefore aim to reach out to and beyond the Bulgarian community in the US and to celebrate multiculturalism.

The Program:

* A screening of Body Without Organs —Bulgarian Bar, a documentary by Daniela Kostova about the legendary place, will open the night. Staring Dj Joro-Boro and Eugene Hutz (Gogol Bordello), this is a movie celebrating the nomadic spirit and shared community of NYC.

* An artists and musician, Joro-Boro is also portrayed in Stanislava Georgieva’s project Nomads—a series of intriguing photographs of single men captured in the precarious uncertainty of their temporary homes.

* Another subject of this series is Georgi Tushev, photographed with his hand-made remotely controlled aircrafts fitted with built-in video cameras. Tushev has developed a body of work using these aircraft, called First Point of View, challenging our physical limitations by showing unidentified landscapes from above. For the event in Corona the artist will fly an aircraft over the neighborhood and later screen the recorded video.

* Miryana Todorova, whose performances often involve the artists in the show as participants or documentarians, will present the video Towards Movable Architecture. Catalyst for this piece is the performative instability, which becomes a device to revolutionize the way we move in space.

* Similar is the approach in Olivia Robinson’s interactive performance Negotiations, where an alien figure played by Daniela Kostova is under surveillance by her own attached policeman outfitted with video camera.

* The night will culminate in a party without borders led by DJ Joro-Boro who is also showing a video Charlatan of Junk Projection as.

Expo video from Corona, Queens made by Georgi Tushev, September 2011 on Youtube.


For more information please contact: Daniela Kostova

Tel: 646-484-0689 E-mail: danykosto@hotmail.com