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3D printed in white nylon plastic with a matte finish and slight grainy feel.
Q-08: "Fluid Frontiers" by Studio Meem
My country is not a suitcase, And I am not a traveler. Queens – Fluid Frontiers
Queens is New York City’s largest borough, with both of the city’s major airports, cemeteries, Shea Stadium, and the site of the World Universal Expo. 150 languages are spoken in the borough, by more foreign-born residents than live elsewhere in the US. The 7 subway line is sometimes called the “Orient Express.” Of the 2.2 million people who live in Queens, 48% are foreign born, the majority of them Asian.
Recently, immigration has been a touchstone of U.S. political debates, with presidential candidates in the 2016 election divided along the polarized lines of “bridge” vs. “wall” platforms. Measures by the current administration to curb immigration have raised difficult questions regarding who has the right to enter the U.S. and make it their home.
In our souvenir, we metaphorically celebrate immigration and the resulting diversity that is so characteristic of Queens.
Adopting the icon of the 1939 World’s Fair—the site of which is located on the edges of Q-08—we felt that this particular image of Queens with a globe and obelisk was an appropriate symbol to be embraced.
Inside the World’s Fair Unisphere, we created a “snow-globe” of sorts, appropriating the language of typical tourist souvenirs. We embedded within it floating trinkets of various kinds that represent immigration: suitcases, planes, boats, figures of different colors, and clothes or objects brought along by immigrants in their vessels of exile.
In this way, we hope to represent Queen’s fluid frontiers, as it serves as a welcoming entry point and base for thousands of arrivals into New York, dreamers who hope to make this country their permanent home.