Let us remember for a moment the story of Moses, whose conviction to free his people from slavery in Egypt was so deep, he parted the waters of the sea. His achievement is known today because of the hope he brought to the Jewish of a Promised Land. Let us remember Ancient Rome, the seat of the Catholic Church, founded in 752 BC by the sons of Aeneas, a Trojan citizen who fled to Italy after the mighty Greeks conquered his city. We remember Joseph and Mary and the arrival of baby Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew describes this family as they fled, overnight and with very little, from Bethlehem to Egypt in order to save their new son for being kill by Herod and to preserve his family. These men and women are the roots of Western culture and history; without them, who are we?
Today, in our current political climate, how would we refer to these people? Would we call them Barbarians? Foreigners? Immigrants? Refugees? Exiles? Undocumented? Illegal? Undesirables? Criminals?
Many people think immigration is an isolated issue, a uniquely American phenomenon whose complexity can be solved with a giant wall. We know this isn't true. There are infinite reasons why individuals, families, and groups emigrate, but the most important is the search for well-being, inspired by the hope of a better future. Ours is a species in a permanent movement, in a continuous exodus.
But what is in the hearts and minds of the people who, in search of well-being, are confronted with discrimination, racism, institutional violence? Who endure the loss of family, identity, of sons and daughters and of hope itself? EXODUS is an artistic exploration hoping to illustrate the complexity of migration through the eyes of my own immigrant identity.