Melanie Parke, reading and placing the Migrant Manifesto in public places. ( Conversation on the bus with a Stranger, Chicago.)

Melanie Parke



Project Description:

I spent some time in my neighborhood today. Humboldt Park, Chicago, is the only officially recognized Puerto Rican neighborhood in the nation. I walked out my door and down my street. I placed a copy of the Manifesto in an empty Reader receptacle for anyone to view or to take. I then walked to a small cafe that provides services and jobs to people that have seen difficult times (they have crossed boundaries.) I bought tea and stayed and read a few pages of Ted Purves’s What We Want is Free. I was hoping to have a conversation with a stranger, but I could not seem to cross the uncomfortable boundary. I walked down Francisco to my studio. I pulled the Migrant Manifesto from my purse and quietly began to read aloud the Migrant Manifesto as I walked. I was very aware of my own voice, but in reading the Manifesto the meaning rang deeper for me and the more I projected the words. It is a sunny day today and many people were on the street, I lost my self consciousness, and occasionally paused in the reading to say hello to those who shared the sidewalk with me. I read it again aloud at the corner of North and Francisco. I still hope to have a conversation with a stranger today.

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