New Women New Yorkers (NWNY) is pleased to launch the showcase of the 3rd edition of its storytelling project Real People. Real Lives. Women Immigrants of New York on the occasion of International Migrants Day (December 18). The initiative highlights a diverse picture of immigrant women living in New York City – frontline workers, journalists, stay-at-home moms, artists and entrepreneurs, among others – on a series of podcasts to be released weekly through March 8, 2021 (International Women’s Day). The goal is to elevate these narratives, moving beyond statistics and political rhetoric.
A group of 12 immigrant women of all walks of life was selected to take part in the project. They talked about their immigrant experience and reflected on ideas of home and belonging within the backdrop of a year like no other in New York City, marked by the pandemic, racial justice protests, and the presidential election. Each story is a unique mix of determination, hope, challenges, and victories. Frontline worker Potri, for example, joined the ranks of Philipino nurses working in the US in the 1990s. Grassroots organizer Shorai fled domestic violence in Zimbabwe in 2016, leaving her children behind.
To celebrate the official kickoff of this 3rd edition of Real People. Real Lives., NWNY commissioned Iranian painter Bahar Sabzevari, one of the interviewees, to create a collage. Her painting practice explores identity through self-portraiture, narrative painting and drawing. By Integrating Persian motifs, religious details and characters, her self-portraits investigate the boundaries of human identity: freedom, restriction, and sense of place and belonging. In particular, her work looks at transient and hidden forms of identity: the imagination, hopes, fears, dreams, histories and evolution. Sabzevari’s process is research and studio-based and involves the bringing together of complex imagery, symbols and narratives, often drawing from the fields of mythology, science, religion and art history.
The commission features a self-portrait along with motifs drawn from the artist’s universe and heritage, like the Persian bird Simurgh. The medium was chosen because it captures the zeitgeist of this year – fragmented, fast-paced, and multilayered, like our existences shaped by Zoom, social media scrolling, and narrative disputes. Bahar will also facilitate a collage workshop for the other 2020 participants of Real People. Real Lives. Women Immigrants of New York.
The podcast series is available atwww.nywomenimmigrants.org/real-people-real-lives-women-immigrants-of-new-york/, https://anchor.fm/RealPeopleRealLives and various streaming platforms.
The 3rd edition of Real People. Real Lives. Women Immigrants of New York is made possible in part with funding from the William Talbott Hillman Foundation
Originally published by New Women New Yorkers: Source