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The Migrations visiting artist program hosts anticolonial and antiracist artists who engage university and community members in collaboration with Cornell's Johnson Museum of Art.

Learn more about our focus on racism, dispossession, and migration, supported by the Mellon Foundation's Just Futures Initiative. 

Al-An deSouza

Al-An deSouza

Al-An deSouza presented about "The Culture of Location," in conjunction with their exhibition at the Johnson Museum, Elegies for Futures Past.  

In October 2022, DeSouza discussed the genre of landscape in relation to migration, settlement, and climate change. The title of their talk is a play on The Location of Culture by Homi Bhabha, now a classic of postcolonial theory. DeSouza’s transmedia practice explores the legacies of colonialism through strategies of humor, fabulation, and (mis)translation.

Precious Okoyomon

Precious Okoyomon

Precious Okoyomon is a Nigerian American poet, sculptor, and avant-garde chef. Okoyomon presented at the Johnson Museum of Art, exploring themes of migration, dispossession, and redress.

Okoyomon’s large-scale, immersive artworks are concerned with the entangled fate of humans, plants, and animal species as they move from place to place across the planet. Approaching art making like a poet, Okoyomon mines the metaphorical associations of all manner of found objects and raw materials—from kudzu vine to lambswool—to elicit new reflections upon our complex, interconnected histories.

Guadalupe Maravilla

Guadalupe Maravilla

Guadalupe Maravilla is an acclaimed visual artist, choreographer, and healer who first came to the United States as a result of the Salvadoran Civil War in the 1980s. Now a U.S. citizen, Maravilla's performances, sculptural objects, and drawings trace the history of his own displacement and that of others. Watch Maravilla's talk at the Johnson Museum of Art.

Nicholas Galanin

Polar bear skin melts into the ground
Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Unangax̂, born 1979 in Sitka, Alaska), We Dreamt Deaf, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.

In 2021, Nicholas Galanin—Tlingit and Unangax̂ multidisciplinary artist and musician from Alaska—participated in the Art and Environmental Struggle exhibition. The exhibition emphasized the effects of colonialism and neocolonialism with works of art that call attention to the consequences of environmental damage on the food production, security, cultural independence, and general well-being of communities that have historically contributed the least to the current crisis. 

We also invited artist Santee Smith, a renowned Kahnyen'kehàka multidisciplinary artist, to perform at the exhibit.