FSP | NCLAFF Migrant Workers & the American Dream

Migrant Workers & the American Dream

OCT 28 – Monday – 12pm | Forum for Scholars and Publics (011 Chemistry Building), Duke West Campus
Lunchtime talk with Chelsea Hernández and Orin Starn

Director Chelsea Hernández and professor Orin Starn will talk about the situation of migrant workers in the U.S. as a preamble to the screening of the film Building the American Dream. With participation of local migrant workers: Arcadio Montoya (Honduras), owner of Arcadio’s Hardwood Floors and Cornelio Campos (México), Certified Electrician and Visual Artist.

Light Lunch will be offered starting at 11.30am


Professor Orin Starn leads Duke’s Construction Worker Project in spring 2019. The Construction Worker Project is a collaboration between Duke undergraduates and local construction workers to document the lives of these men and women and what they contribute to our society. It included the installation of a Durham skyline, which was created by artist Hermes Illana, an immigrant from Brazil himself, available for free exhibit in schools and elsewhere. Its design makes visible the sometimes-invisible work that goes into creating the city. Photographs were taken by students, construction workers, and Hermes Illana; all the quotes come from interviews conducted by students with workers. The eight construction workers (without last names to protect identities) who participated in the project are: Ernesto, Saul, Marvin, Omar, Tere, Melvin, Fredy, Filemón.

Durham Skyline. The Construction Worker Project (4x12ft), 2019

Cornelio Campos has become one of the most prolific visual artist in the state addressing issues of migration, adaptation, segregation and the (in)visibility of workers, farm and construction, via paintings, murals, workshops, lectures and community building. His work has been shown nationally and internationally. Cornelio continues working in construction despiste his fame as visual artist.

"Struggle.' by Cornelio Campos

Struggle (La lucha). Cornelio Campos
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Copyright 2019 | The Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University