July 01, 2015

In honor of the official launch of Newest Americans today, VII Photo Agency will be taking over the @NewestAmericans Instagram feed for the month of July. They will be posting images surround the theme of immigration around the world. Follow along here.

A remote border fence is seen 15 miles east of Douglas, Ariz., April 25, 2010. Mexico is to the left.

A remote border fence is seen 15 miles east of Douglas, Ariz., April 25, 2010. Mexico is to the left.

The Center for Migration and the Global City and Rutgers University-Newark, in association with Talking Eyes Media and VII Photo, is proud to announce the debut of Newest Americans, an unprecedented multimedia digital publication focused on global storytelling with Jersey roots.

The inaugural issue features the work of professional journalists, documentary filmmakers, artists, research faculty and students.

The stories we tell emanate from Newark but they reach around the world, from Nigeria to Mexico, from Syria to the Jim Crow South. Stories are told through video, spoken word, audio essays, personal blogs, graphic novels and photographs —reflecting the range of media by which we global citizens communicate today.

The inaugural issue will launch with two ongoing series:

  • American Sueño – an unfolding story about Mexico native Marisol Conde-Hernandez, an aspirational undocumented law student in Newark who will most likely not be permitted to practice in the U.S when she earns her degree. Brought to the United States by her parents when she was one year old, she continues to fight her way through the U.S. legal system as she awaits the implementation of President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration.
  • We Came and Stayed – a rare and intimate profile of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who provided exclusive access to Newest Americans during the early days of his administration. The resulting film and photo essay recounts Baraka’s family journey from rural South Carolina to the seat of power in “Brick City.”

Other features to launch in the inaugural issue of Newest Americans include:

  • “Notes For My Homeland” – A short film with original music from Malek Jandali, a Syrian-American composer who wrote a song that is so powerful, his parents were beaten in retaliation for its performance.
  • “Glass Books: Provisions”– A rich compilation of videos, photos, audio and poetry about an art project featuring books made of glass. “Provisions” explores the effects of the seismic change the Great Migration brought to individuals, their families, the city of Newark and the country at large.
  • “From Where I Stand” – Audio essays by RU–N students from Nigeria, Egypt and Newark, assessing the challenges and opportunities that present themselves from where they
  • “Face of A City” – A graphic novel boldly told through the eyes of an Asian-American student encountering a new world.
  • “Maid in the USA” – A blog from American born Shana Russell, a doctoral student who comes from four generations of domestic workers, urging us to think more deeply about domestic labor, race and immigration.

We are excited to share this glimpse into the world of the newest Americans and the vision it provides of our demographic future.

—Tim Raphael

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