From Carne Y Arena to the Classroom in Dallas
On April 5, 2022, Adam Strom of Re-Imagining Migration and Rachel Rushing of the Nasher Sculpture Center led a workshop with educators exploring strategies for bridging the themes raised by Academy Award-winning Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Carne Y Arena with the lives of young people and museum visitors in our community. The immersive VR experience invites viewers to witness the experiences of migrants making their way through Mexico to the U.S. border. Participants learned about the strength, resilience, and challenges faced by immigrant-origin students, shared migration stories that cross histories, identities, and experiences, and reimagined Emma Lazarus’ economic 1883 poem The New Colossus, for our times.
Among the participants and attendees at the workshop was Carlos Revelo, a Professor at Tarrant County College, whose portrait is on the cover of former President George Bush’s book Out of Many, One: Portraits of Immigrants, Nancy Cuenca, co-founder of MaaPaa, an organization that supports single mothers raising young boys that have been separated from their fathers for a range of reasons including military service and immigration, Juan Contreras, founder of Texas Latino Pride, and Cindy Pedraza, the daughter of Mexican migrants and co-founder of CocoAndré Chocolates.
After the workshop, Adam Strom, Executive Director of Re-Imagining Migration explained, “Reflecting on Carne Y Arena gave all of us an opportunity to hear the migration stories that so many people in Dallas walk around with on a daily basis. Finding constructive ways to share those stories is essential for young people, their families, and the larger community. Yet, we often find that educators have not had the training or experience to support sharing them constructively and help all young people put them in the context of our shared history as Americans, and, really, as humans.”