NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers University is hosting an art exhibit titled “Living In The Shadows: Underground Immigrant Communities” on the Douglass campus.

The Center for Women in the Arts (CWAH) put together the exhibit, which examines the circumstances of irregular migration and the hidden lives of undocumented immigrants, inside the gallery at the Mabel Smith Douglass Library on Chapel Drive.

The free exhibit is open to the general public from January 17 until April 7, with gallery hours being Monday through Friday from 9am until 10pm.

The exhibit comprises the work of six different artists using various mediums to tell the stories of undocumented immigrants and their communities.  The artists featured are Pam Cooper, CERRUCHA, Lauren Everett, Sandra C. Fernandez, Cynthia Tom, and Gesche Wϋrfel.

Each artist provides a different perspective on the struggles of these marginalized groups.

Cynthia Tom’s contribution is set of pillows representing various people in her own life that have been discarded called “Stories to Tell: Discards and Variances.”

The pillows hanging from the ceiling by a string have pictures of her mother, father, grand mother, and others who have been a part of her life.

Tom’s grandmother and mother were victims of human trafficking.  Included in a nearby binder are articles that pertain to this irregular form of migration and how it is still presently a problem, along with information on how one can fight human trafficking.

CERRUCHA’s “Mapping Skin Deep” is an audiovisual piece that examines the paths taken by refugees and undocumented immigrants currently residing in Montreal and Mexico City. There are portraits of these people with scars, added in post-production, that depict the paths they took to reach a safe place.

Through the use of a “QR code,” a gallery visitor can listen to the testimonies of these refugees on their mobile phones as well as the translucent maps provided to see the distance they used.

Pam Cooper’s piece “Invisible” consists of Abaca paper shoes that hang from the city representing children unaccompanied minors that were placed in shelters to await deportation.

The location of the shelters are kept heavily concealed. These children are educated, housed, and allowed out on supervised outings.

There will be a reception with all of the artists of the gallery on March 1 from 5:30pm until 6:30pm in the Mabel Smith Douglass Room of the library.

Additionally, the 2016 Peabody award-winning film “Don’t Tell Anyone” (No le Digas a Nadie) featuring Angy Rivera, an undocumented immigrant who emerged as an activist, blogger, and advice columnist, will be screened three times as a part of the exhibit, including twice in New Brunswick.

The screenings will occur:

  • March 22 at 4pm in Paul Robeson Galleries on Rutgers’ Newark campus
  • March 30 at 7pm in the Kathleen W. Ludwig Global Village Living Learning Center on Nichol Avenue
  • April 25 at 6pm in the New Brunswick Free Public Library, at 60 Livingston Avenue.

The screening at the Kathleen W. Ludwig Global Village Living Learning Center will be followed by a discussion by the filmmaker Mikaela Shwer as well as Any Rivera. These events are free and open to the public.