The Immigrant Story Project is a project initiated by artists Jiajia Li and Teresa Tam in the fall 2021. Immigration is one of the most meaningful and disruptive experiences anyone could have. For what reasons do people immigrate to Canada? How do they learn and cope with new environments? How does this experience change identity and the sense of belonging? What gaps are people feeling between their home country and living in Canada?
Through these shared stories, we wish to empower people through not only sharing their experiences, but to also create new spaces that help contextualize what it means to be an immigrant today. This project is about filling and tying the gaps of these stories to help communities connect with each other, here and abroad.
Call for Submissions
We are calling anyone in the community to share immigrant stories. Here are some questions as a jumping-off point:
How did you learn and cope with the new environments? (Work / Study / Living)
Are you struggling to connect with people/yourself? What are some things you miss/don’t have anymore? (Family / Friends / Community/Spaces)
How do you juggle the different stories you hear in other parts of the world through family and news outlets, especially when compared to local news? (World view/values)
The selected stories will be posted online during the Lunar New Year 2022. These stories will be accompanied by original works by Jiajia and Teresa.
We encourage you to share your stories in English. Stories recorded and written in other languages are acceptable too. However, if selected, the stories will be presented in the language we receive. No translation will be provided.
Submission: (one or more of the following)
5-minute max audio recording/per story (MP3 only)
500 max words for text/written stories (.PDF or .DOC file only)
5 images max (these will be viewed online; please no print resolution files)
There will be a small honorarium for successful applicants
To submit, please fill out the application form linked at the top.
Deadline to submit: December 1, 2021
About the Artists
Jiajia Li is a flutist who was born and raised in Beijing, and moved to Calgary in 2014. A classically trained musician, Jiajia’s wide interest in music has taken her on a journey from concert hall appearances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra to improvised shows with the experimental concert series, Bug Incision, to directing a traditional Chinese ensemble and forming her latest pop band, Ginger Beef. Besides immersing herself in the music world, Jiajia dedicates herself to connecting communities to each other through arts initiatives and projects. To that end, she has been engaging communities with Chinese New Year projects since 2018.
Teresa Tam is an artist from and based in Mohkínstsis/Calgary, Canada. Her art practice sketches experiences that are familiar and alters them into something a bit foreign through re-interpreting and re-creating. Tam specializes in digital platforms, functional installations, and body-based exchanges and objects. She recently participated in the Calgary Chinatown Artist Residency and co- runs Yolkless Press with Areum Kim.
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