Columbus Crossing Borders Project

These events may be interesting for those concerned with migration and movement.
As millions of people are fleeing war, terror and persecution, 34 artists and a film crew have embarked on a creative mission to inspire understanding, compassion and support.  
The Columbus Crossing Borders traveling art exhibit allows an intimate look into the arduous journeys of refugees and the art inspired by those journeys.  And now, through the lens of filmmaker Doug Swift, comes the Columbus Crossing Borders documentary film, Breathe Free.
*Please join us for the film premiere on Thursday, August 10  at 7 pm at The Drexel Theatre in Bexley.  Doors open at 6 pm.
Thursday  August 10, 7:00 pm
The Drexel Theatre
2254 East Main Street  /  Bexley
View the Documentary Trailer: 
Thursday  August 31, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Schumacher Gallery
2199 E Main Street  / Bexley
For press inquiries, please contact Laurie VanBalen
(740) 739-1561  
Columbus Crossing Borders Project website:

LOC: Telling the story of America through Songs of Immigration and Migration

The Library of Congress has a great article telling the story of America through songs of immigration and migration.

“As Europeans colonized North America, beginning with the Spanish and French in the 1500s and the British and Dutch in the early 1600s, colonists brought their cultural entertainments along with them. Songs brought to colonial America continued to be sung in their early forms, so that later scholars of songs and ballads, such as the British ethnomusicologist Cecil Sharp and American ballad scholar Francis James Child, looked to North America to find early versions of songs, and songs no longer sung in their country of origin.[1] Ethnomusicologist Juan Rael documented folk dramas and passion plays — sung performances — that preserved early versions of Spanish religious songs in what had been the relatively isolated colony of New Mexico (modern New Mexico and western Colorado). With the development of sound recording, scholars attempted to record the earliest versions of songs that they could find, such as the ballads Child had identified. An example of a rare pre-industrial work song in this presentation is a Scottish song that women used when fulling cloth, called a “waulking” song. See “Fhillie duhinn s’tu ga m’dhi,” sung by Mary MacPhee in 1939.”

Read more:

Article: “Correlations in the population structure of music, genes and language”

In a 2014 article, Steven Brown and colleagues demonstrate that music and genes may have coevolved by analyzing correlations between traditional folk songs and mitochondrial DNA among indigenous populations in Taiwan.  “These correlations were of comparable magnitude to those between language and genes for the same populations, although music and language were not significantly correlated with one another. […]  Music may therefore have the potential to serve as a novel marker of human migrations to complement genes, language and other markers” (Brown, et al 2014).

Read the full article from the Proceedings of the Royal Society B here:


NYT Article: For Migrants Headed North, the Things They Carried to the End

What do migrants choose to carry with them?  What items are so important that they make it from the beginning to the end of the journey?  An exhibition called “State of Exception/Estado de Excepción” at Parsons School of Design sought to answer those questions as it explores the journey of migrants to United States from Mexico through the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.

While the exhibit closed in April, you can still read about it here:

Animated map shows how humans migrated across the globe

“It’s tough to know what happened on Earth thousands of years before anyone started writing anything down. But thanks to the amazing work of anthropologists and paleontologists like those working on National Geographic’s Genographic Project, we can begin to piece together the story of our ancestors. Here’s how early humans spread from East Africa all around the world.” – from Business Insider Science


The process of making “Erasure of fallen dust” and “Ethnographer/Photographer, Corona, Queens”

by Sa’dia Rehman

ROY G BIV Gallery is currently exhibiting work by Nayeon Yang and Sa’dia Rehman. Yang’s live-feed videos and projections fill the gallery with ethereal iterations of its visitors. Rehman’s multidisciplinary installations discuss language and her upbringing in a Muslim-American household. The work of both artists will be on display May 6–27 at 997 N High St. Hours: 1– 6 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free.  

Below is an artist statement by Sa’dia Rehman in which she discusses the thought process behind her work. 

Making of Erasure Fallen Dust

The works included in my solo exhibition at ROY G BIV Gallery are:

  • a wall drawing titled Erasure of Fallen Dust, 2017
  • a drawing on paper titled Bul Bul ka Bacha, A Rhyme, 2016
  • three 4 x 6 photographs titled A Family Garden, 2016
  • and a video titled Ethnographer/Photographer, Episode 3: Corona/Queens, New York, 2017

Making of Erasure Fallen Dust

The wall drawing and the video are supported by a grant from the Global Mobility Project at Ohio State University, an Arts & Humanities Discovery Theme Pilot Project

The wall drawing continued to evolve in the gallery and in my studio, rejecting the possibility of resolution and in support of the unfinished. My work addresses a void in contemporary visual art: the imagery of the Muslim family and its artifacts are essentially absent outside of depictions of war and violence abroad. Much of my work is rooted in narratives from my own experience and my family. For me the unfinished are these narratives and these thoughts, yet to be visible.

Making of Erasure Fallen Dust

My work engages the unfinished as method, material, and process. By focusing on the unfinished, the work rejects the idea that any work is finished or fixed. Instead the work turns the viewer to focus on the process of art-making. It points to the subjectivity, rather than objectivity, of the artist as art-maker, and the viewer as consumer. Rather than suggest a stable truth, it suggests that we are all unfinished, changing, evolving. There is no complete, or possibility of complete, in the work: I am more interested in the relational and dynamic aspect of understanding and meaning making. The work deals with issues for which there are no answers. These issues exist in ever-shifting and polarized terrain–which makes understanding between the artist and the viewer near impossible.

Nayeon and Erasure Fallen Dust

My ongoing video series, Ethnographer/Photographer plays with concepts of language, power, belonging, and framing, as well as travel, tourism, voyeurism, and study. I use the word “ethnographer” in the title of this work knowing that this work is not a thorough study of human culture. However, the work uses elements of ethnography- observations, documentation, and records. I am the subject, the viewer, and the storyteller interacting with a city.

Still from EthnoPhoto Corona

In earlier episodes of this work, I engaged with strangers and requested that they take photos of me. As I lend my camera to passersby, a non-verbal exchange of power occurred. The stranger became the photographer, positioned my body, directed my facial expressions, and composed the photograph. These simple gestures unfold into friendly conversations, revelatory stories, and momentary companionships. I then created a performance and video with the photographs and my accompanying journal entries. The interactions have lasted from five minutes to two days. However, I reveal just a few details of these interactions.

Still from EthnoPhoto Corona

For the episode exhibited at ROY G BIV, I visited my childhood neighborhood of Corona and walked the streets for days. Many of the paths I walked traced the steps I ran around while a child growing up in Queens, New York. During my walk, I realized that this episode couldn’t follow the same formula as noted above. I felt that I needed to capture my walk by attaching my camera to my body. This episode is an unedited version of a twenty-minute walk from the 103rd street subway station to Masjid Al-Falah to what once was my dad’s halal meat shop now a barber shop, my childhood home, the firehouse across the street, the former Tiffany glass factory, P.S. 19Q, and the corner bodega.

Artist talk: Saturday May 20th 2:30 PM at
ROY G BIV Gallery
997 N. High Street
Columbus, OH


Sa’dia Rehman copies, assembles, and disassembles family photographs, intimate and ritual objects, and visual and written language as a way to explore the limits and possibilities of self and collective being. Through collages, stencils, installations, and photo/video, she explores states of in-between, past and present, belonging and desire.  She is currently exploring the role of walls in constructing interior and exterior spaces. Rehman has shared her work at Urban Art Space (2017), ROYGBIV (2017), Twelve Gates (2016), Center for Book Arts (2015), Local Projects (2014), Queens Museum (2012), Brooklyn Museum (2010), and Grey Noise (2008). She was selected for the Global Mobility grant (2017), Rasquache Residency in Puebla Mexico (2016), LMCC’s Artists Summer Institute (2011), AIM Bronx Museum (2008), and a residency at the National Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan (2006). Her work has been featured inThe New York Times, Harper’s, Art Papers, and ColorLines. She will have a solo show at Pearl Conard Gallery, Mansfield, OH in January 2018. Rehman received her MFA from Ohio State University (2017) and her MA in Art History at City College, CUNY (2006).    

Exhibit Shows Bhutanese-Nepali Refugees Living in Central Ohio

There are 20,000 Bhutanese-Nepali Refugees living in Central Ohio making this community one of the largest refugee communities in Columbus.  According to an article in the Columbus Dispatch, “since the 1980s, roughly 80,000 of Bhutan’s ethnic Nepalese have resettled in the United States after the Bhutanese monarchy banned their Hindu religion, language and customs. Many others were jailed or killed, and still others were driven into exile after being forced to turn over their land and resources to the government.”

This exhibit, profiled in the Columbus Dispatch on May 11, presents the faces of 30 of our Bhutanese-Nepali neighbors and friends.  Each photograph, taken by Tariq Tarey, is accompanied by a narrative written by Doug Rutledge, which explains each individual’s history.  These photographs tell the story of the Bhutanese-Nepali refugees, their lives in Bhutan, their experience leaving, life in refugee camps, and their new life in Columbus.

The exhibit runs until Sunday, January 7, 2018 at the Ohio History Center; 800 E. 17th Ave, Columbus, OH 43211, Weds.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. Noon–5 p.m.  For more information, visit the Ohio History Center Website.


Remittances Review – an international peer-reviewed journal

The new issue of Remittences Review is available from Transnational Press London.  Remittances are a sum of money sent in payment for goods/services or as a gift.  In migration research, the term is used to describe money sent by immigrants to their home countries to support their families or to pay for costs related to migration.

Remittances ReviewAccording to the Remittances Review website: “Remittances Review publishes policy-oriented research and scholarship from Economics, Accounting, Finance, Sociology, Politics, Anthropology, Geography, and Law, and welcomes interdisciplinary contributions. International remittances are expected to top $2 billion a day before 2020, with two-thirds flowing to developing countries. Remittances reduce poverty in families that receive them, and can stimulate economic growth in migrant-sending nations. Remittances Review seeks papers with micro and macro analyses of remittance impacts as well as papers dealing with the remittance infrastructure or how individuals send small sums over national borders. The Remittances Review includes research articles, debates, conversations/interviews, book reviews, opinion and viewpoints and letters. Remittances Review is a high quality outlet for scholarly exchange and follows a strict editorial review policy with double blind reviews.”

Please see the call for papers for Remittances Review here.

Table of Contents


Editorial: Advancing Scholarship on Remittances PDF
Jeffrey H. Cohen 1-4


Socially Embedded Character of Informal Channels of Remittances: ‘Omalayisha’ in the South Africa/Zimbabwe Remittance Corridor PDF
Vusilizwe Thebe, Sara Mutyatyu 5-22
Monetary and non-monetary remittances of Egyptians abroad PDF
Ayman Zohry 23-29
Do remittances supplement South Asian development? PDF
Ahsan Ullah 31-45
Cost of Sending Remittances from the UK in the Aftermath of the Financial Crisis PDF
Ibrahim Sirkeci, Andrej Přívara 47-56

Book Reviews

Book Review

Waiting in Limbo: Life as a Refugee in Serbia

By Kathryn Metz

This article was originally published on Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective
Published by the History Departments at The Ohio State University and Miami University


Graffiti outside of the Belgrade barracks.

I met Jamil in Subotica, Serbia, 15 miles from the Hungarian border. He had a sunken face and dark circles under his eyes. “If you saw my picture on Facebook, you would not recognize me,” he wearily told me. For three months he had been stuck in Serbia, and after nine failed attempts to enter Hungary, he was growing increasingly hopeless.

Jamil is from Swat, Pakistan, where he was pursuing a graduate degree in computer engineering. He left seven months ago because he was not religious enough for the Taliban, who had occupied his village. Fearing for his life, he left everything behind and departed for the European Union. All that stands in his way is the border fence spanning 109 miles along the Hungarian – Serbian border, restricting entry for Jamil and thousands of other refugees who remain trapped in Serbia.

Hungary completed its first razor-wire border fence in September 2015 as a response to the hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees who irregularly entered the country that summer. The fortified border is not the only obstacle restricting irregular entry into the country. Hungary has also recruited over a thousand new border hunters deployed solely to remove anyone who enters Hungary illegally.

Continue reading here