Invisible Emigrants. Spaniards in the U.S. (1868 – 1945)
The first exhibition to recover the history of the Spanish diaspora in the United States at the turn of the 20th century.
‘Invisible Emigrants. Spaniards in the U.S. (1868 – 1945)’ is the first exhibition to be devoted to the history of Spanish immigration to the United States during the final decades of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century. This fragile, disperse group, scarcely recognized to date, has been brought to light by over a decade of research carried out by exhibition curators, Professor of Spanish Literature and Culture at New York University, James D. Fernández (Brooklyn, New York, 1961), and journalist and filmmaker, Luis Argeo (Piedras Blancas, Asturias, 1975), both personally linked to this immigration. They jointly gathered a valuable archive of over 15 000 digitalized images, common objects, home movies and original documents from family albums and boxes of memorabilia carefully guarded by the heirs to this legacy, the descendants of the participants in this diaspora.
Asturians in the mines of West Virginia and the factories of the Rust Belt; Andalusians on the Hawaiian sugarcane fields and in California fruit canneries; Basques on the pastures of Idaho and Nevada; Cantabrians in the Vermont stone quarries; Galicians and Valencians on the New York Hudson and East River waterfront; more Asturians and Galicians rolling tobacco in the Tampa, Florida tobacco factories.” María Dueñas, writer and exhibition sponsor.
Consisting of 6 sections –-Adiós, ¡A trabajar!, Living la vida, Se organizaron, Solidaridad y discordia and Made in USA–- the exhibition follows the stages of the journey that any one of the protagonists of this diaspora would have experienced, a personal and emotional journey through over 300 photographs, objects, documents and audiovisual materials chosen from the extensive archive amassed by the curators as part of the exhibition. Photographer, editor and writer Paco Gómez (Madrid, 1971) designed the exhibition, with collaboration by illustrator Alfonso Zapico (Blimea, Asturias, 1981) and audiovisual artist Cynthia González (Buenos Aires, 1977).
Since the opening of the exhibition in Madrid in January 2020, over 30 000 people have had the opportunity to learn about the increasingly less unknown story of Spanish immigration to the United States from the late 19th to the early 20th century. After being shown at the Centro de Cultura Antiguo Instituto in Gijón/Xixón and the Almería Museum of Art, the exhibition will make its way to the United States to be shown at the places throughout the U.S. where communities of Spaniards settled and prospered.
‘Invisible Emigrants’ was made possible through the work of the Fundación Consejo España – EE.UU. and generous contributions from the descendants and family members of the people who immigrated. As it travelled around Spain, it received the support of the City of Madrid, the Municipal Foundation for Culture, Education and People’s University of the City of Gijón/Xixón, the Cosentino Group, the Ibáñez Cosentino Foundation and the City of Almería. It also was provided with continuing support by New York University and its foundation in Spain, the King Rey Juan Carlos I Foundation, Técnicas Reunidas, the Secretariat of State of Foreign Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain, the United States Embassy to Spain, the Franklin-UAH Institute, Navantia and Cosentino.
Since its inception, a number of individuals have supported this project, including author María Dueñas, chef José Andrés, journalist/filmmaker Guillermo Fesser, artist Cristina Pato and author Eduardo Lago, among others.
Visit the exhibition’s official webpage at: www.emigrantesinvisibles.com
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