After walking through the Complex Journey, what are your thoughts about what immigrant experiences might be like?
How does your own experience relate to the experience immigrants have coming here?
How can our community be more inclusive of our immigrant neighbors?
How long have you lived in Gainesville?
Do you feel you belong in the community?
- I was born here in the US and know my ancestors were slaves. There is so much about my history that I don’t know, but this piece reminds me that all of our journeys are unique and varied with stories of pain mixed with stories of triumph.
- An immigrant's journey is filled with many obstacles when transitioning to living in a new country. Although I was born here in the United States, I saw the difficulties my parents and family faced. The most difficult being overcoming the language barrier. Also blending our Cuban culture with American culture took some time adapting. I believe the community should do outreach projects and events to help immigrants while establishing in the United States. Events such as these help immigrants feel more supported and helps them establish a support system by interacting with others facing a similar journey. I believe there should always be initiatives in place to assist and facilitate the transition into the US for all immigrants. Immigrants should always feel welcomed and feel like they have a voice and given their best chance at creating a home and sharing their diversity with others.
- I felt that there was no one right path, many different ways to go. There were a lot of times when I thought I was going to knock something over. There was a maze that I had to navigate, and one turn could be a dead end. It was something I had to think about, which way I wanted to go. I have lived in Gainesville my entire life, 11 years. So I wouldn’t really know the experience of being an immigrant. My mom does work with immigrants a lot and it amazes me how much they have to go through to get to a safe, comfortable place. I think our community could definitely have more resources, like community id drives which is what my mom does.
- 1. I could really see how complex, intertwined, and fragile the journey can be. It also seems that everyone has their own perspective and can impose in some other ways
2. Moving to Gainesville, although not far from my hometown was shocking. It is hard not to think about what used to be. My parents are immigrants who came to America, and they often shared their feelings and fears with me.
3. Take time to listen before you share!!
4. 3 years
5. I am now starting to feel like I belong in the Gainesville community. Before I felt limited to the UF community.
- 1. Strenuous, complex, trying, unpredictable
2. Even though I wouldn’t dream of trying to relate my experience, I can empathize with feelings of being out of place
3. More events like these!!
4. I’ve lived here for 6 years
5. My feelings of belongingness differ based on what community I’m in
- 1. I belong to a family of migrants from Venezuela. I believe that the process of uprooting yourself into a new land is rough and should always be considered first.
2. Moving to a new country is never as simple as the news makes it sound
3. I don’t have many memories of that move with my family, but I do remember the struggle of being understood at school. I believe that a lot of immigrants would experience that struggle to communicate their stories.
4. If electives like the arts, or social studies like history and philosophy were better supported it would help our youth be more open-minded to the experiences of all people from everywhere
5. I just visit my girlfriend so I wouldn’t say i belong in Gainesville, but I do feel welcomed when I visit.
- 1. Always wondering… should I have stayed where I was… could I have made that place a better home?
2. 1st “BIG” move - Michigan to Alabama (no international yet) was a culture shock - from personal space to personal info, behaviors were very different - AND different DIFFERENCES were noticed and professed DIFFERENTLY - different, different, different
3. By learning voluntarily what migrators are forced to learn - variety and difference are GIFTS to humanity
4. In Gainesville since June, 1987. Before that Huntsville, AL (5 years). Before that Detroit for 26 years
5. Feel I belong so long as myself and allies keep KICKING doors open!!
- The experience of immigrants is complex. I am the child of an immigrant who still, after almost 50 years here, is adjusting. I have been an immigrant and it is a challenge. I returned to Gainesville because this is where I feel like I belong in the community. I grew up here but have been away for 15 years and still feel like this is my community. Welcoming immigrants means acknowledging and embracing our differences. Efforts to accommodate language differences is a good start.
- The never ending negotiation of steps stood out most. No matter where you go there are always decisions to make.
- I have lived in Gainesville for 27 years. I have felt a sense of belonging - until… Charlottesville when I learned that one of the central instigators was from Gainesville - my blinders came off
- The immigrant experience seems like a walking landmine. There are countless obstacles and many ways to walk the path. For example, moving to the US to be an artist is an unconventional path that has its own challenges, but if one treads carefully they can make it through the exhibit, and life, successfully
- Even though I was born in the US, both my parents are immigrants, and I know of the struggles on goes through coming to the US. My experience relates to immigrants coming here, because as a person of color, I’ve often felt disregarded and left out of the conversation. Our community can be more inclusive of immigrants by respecting their opinions and trying to understand and celebrate cultural differences. I’ve lived in Gainesville for 4 years and I sometimes feel like a part of our community, but more often than not, I don’t.
- Immigrant experience is a maze. My mother was an immigrant was widowed when I was a child. I had to do the 15 years in GNV
Most the time I have lived in 6 states as a dual citizen
- One must walk carefully, not stepping on others as you do.
My own living in Nigeria and visiting Sierra Leone and the welcome I received there makes me aware of the injustices many immigrants to my country receive
We should be more welcoming and inviting.
I’ve lived in Gainesville since 1978 and feel I belong to various parts of the community
- Community can be more inclusive by hosting more events like this.
Events w/ panels, food, discussions, etc.
In GNV for 21 years
- Walking through I felt a rush of sadness thinking of how careful immigrants must be while navigating a new space. But, I also felt the movement, the energy of having a final destination and staying steady on the course even if you are vulnerable. And with that steadiness is strength and power.
- A Complex Journey is a thoughtful and inspiring piece of art, although I’m sure iti s nowhere near as difficult as many experiences. I love how it gives a glimpse of scale. The clay pieces appear so small and the distance so large. A metaphor for both the physical, emotional, and mental hurtles faced by an overwhelming number of people.
- Walking through the exhibit I’m reminded of the journeys of my grandparents. I think everyone should imagine themselves in the shoes of immigrants. As someone who has dealt with learning disabilities, I know there are so many barriers in our society. For immigrants it can be tenfold. I have just moved here recently but it’s interesting how diverse the community is here in a small town.