Crises of Citizenship: Global Spotlight Week 2018

These films, art, music and talks highlight critical issues of citizenship and belonging across world regions. As international debates center migration and belonging, these events will provide space for education and reflection on what it means to belong, what it means to have citizenship in our local and global communities. Each event in the series focuses on pressing themes of citizenship across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the post-Soviet sphere. Global Career Night and the Water Flows and Falls art exhibit showcase the connections between crises of citizenship across the globe, focusing on the UNC community’s hopes and concerns for the road ahead.



Voices in the Water: Stories of belonging across borders

// A collaborative installation led by Bryant Holsenbeck

February 17-24 @ FedEx Global Education Center, Atrium

Water. Whatever our circumstances, we depend on water. Water is both a critical resource and barrier for people forced to migrate around our world. Filipinos fly across the Pacific Ocean to seek work in the US. Syrian, Malian and Eritrean migrants and asylum seekers risk their lives in the waters of the Mediterranean. Refugees in the US pay for water no longer safe to drink. Central Americans crossing the US-Mexico border perish from thirst in the desert of Arizona. Traditional coastal communities in Colombia fight for access to their own water.

This week we consider crises of citizenship, particularly as applied to movement, migration, belonging, paths to citizenship affirmed and denied, and stories of relationality and humanity around the world. Through this visual display, Durham installation artist Bryant Holsenbeck provides an opportunity to reflect on individuals and groups rendered vulnerable by crises of citizenship and belonging across borders. From February 17-24, the UNC community will have the chance to participate in Holsenbeck’s installation by adding names of people and groups we would like to remember.


Context and Relationality in Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Saturday, February 17 | 9am-5pm @ FedEx Global Education Center

UNC Institute for the Study of the Americas

This conference will feature a keynote from Professor Arturo Escobar, entitled “Transhumancia epistémica: Reflexiones de cuatro décadas de práctica académico-política.” English translation will be provided. The conference program includes both days of the event, the first of which will take place at Duke University, and the second at the UNC-CH FedEx Global Education Center.


Documented Film Screening & Panel

Monday, February 19 | 5:30pm @ FedEx Global Education Center, Auditorium

Carolina Asia Center

In our screening of Documented, we will learn about the life of Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who is an undocumented immigrant and activist in the U.S. Vargas, a Filipino American, continues to be a strong proponent of immigration reform. The screening will shed light on the fact that undocumented immigrants are close to home, that they are our classmates and friends, that they are integral and important members of society, and that their desire for citizenship and belonging is an everyday struggle that cannot be ignored. This event will bring together members of the Chapel Hill community and university to discuss important issues of Asian migration to the U.S. and immigrant integration.

The panel will include Shelley Lee, Associate Professor of Comparative American Studies and History at Oberlin College, and Eileen Chow, Visiting Associate Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University. Carolina Asia Center Director Morgan Pitelka will moderate the panel.


Open House + Global Career Night

Tuesday, February 20 | 5pm @ FedEx Global Education Center, Atrium + Auditorium

Join students, staff and faculty from the Global Education Center and affiliated programs to discover where global experiences and intercultural competence can lead. The reception will feature an art opening and showcase the global opportunities available to students. On the panel, UNC alumni will speak about diverse career trajectories and possibilities. The panel will include a keynote from TransAtlantic Masters Program ’04 alum Megan Sechehay, currently Vice President of Client Management at risk management firm iJet International.


The Other Side of Hope Film Screening and Panel

Wednesday, February 21 | 5:30pm @ FedEx Global Education Center, Atrium

UNC Center for European Studies

Released in 2017, The Other Side of Hope depicts the fictional story of a traveling salesman’s friendship with a recently arrived Syrian asylum seeker. The panel will include Professor Banu Gökarıksel (Geography), Professor Priscilla Layne (Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures), and Dr. Niklaus Steiner (Director, Center for Global Initiatives). Professor John Stephens (Political Science and Director, Center for European Studies) will moderate the conversation.


African Immigrants in Canada and the Racial Discrimination Boomerang

Thursday, February 22 | 5pm @ FedEx Global Education Center Room #1005

UNC African Studies Center

The Black population in Canada today is highly diverse; it includes the Canadian-born descendants of those who came through the slave trade; the descendants of those who migrated from the U.S. before and after the Civil War; and Blacks who immigrated from the Caribbean, African, and other countries in recent decades. Notwithstanding this diversity, portrayals of Blacks as a homogeneous group abound in the Canadian public discourse and academic writings. This presentation will deal with the immigration, socioeconomic conditions, and experiences of racism among Blacks in Canada, paying particular attention to Black continental Africans.

Professor Joseph Mensah is Chair of the Department of Geography at York University in Toronto. A first-generation African-Canadian intellectual, born and raised in post-colonial Ghana where he did his B.A., he has written widely on Cultural Studies, transnational and return migration, ethno-racial identity formation, and African development. His most recent book, written with Christopher J. Williams, is entitled Boomerang Ethics: How Racism Affects Us All.

In recent decades, millions of Africans have migrated out of their home countries to other African countries, and to Europe, Asia, and North America, because of pressures such as climate change, political unrest, and socio-economic vulnerabilities. And yet, African migrants demonstrate their resilience by forming new communities of Nigerians in Guangzhou, Zimbabweans in Johannesburg, Ethiopians in Milan, Somalis in Nairobi, Congolese in Greensboro, or Sundanese in Toronto. These diverse migrant communities face different challenges and opportunities to establish citizenship and belonging in their new homes, just as they navigate their relationship to the homes they left behind. Their displacement and migration is part of a larger and longer history of the African diaspora and Africans on the move in the world.


Moment of Truth: How Russian-Style Reality Came To America

Thursday, February 22 | 7 PM @ FedEx Global Education Center, Auditorium

UNC Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies

Jim Rutenberg was named media columnist for The New York Times in January 2016, and has over 25 years of reporting experience. He is also a writer at large for The New York Times Magazine. Previously, Mr. Rutenberg was a chief political correspondent for The New York Times Magazinee (2014-2016). He served as the national political correspondent for The New York Times (2010-2014), co-leading The Times’ daily coverage of the 2012 presidential campaign.


Omar Offendum in Concert

Saturday, February 24 | 7-9 PM @ Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, Theater

Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations

Tickets for the event are available at this link.
Omar Offendum is a Los Angeles-based Syrian-American hip-hop artist, activist and architect. His music and poetry, which he performs in both Arabic and English, are infused with historical, geographical and religious references and intermixed with personal accounts of faith, politics, and growing up in Washington, D.C.

Omar Offendum’s focus on Syria and uprisings in the Middle East expose American audiences to a little-understood region. His poetry and music build on American Hip-Hop and compel diverse audiences to consider issues of identity, belonging, and diaspora.