ChristineWongYap.com

 Belonging is a community-engagement, participatory project with three components: storytelling workshops with immigrant groups to elicit personal stories of place, home, and belonging; site-related place markers with excerpts of narratives and creative response activities; and a ‘zine (self-published magazine) with a map of the place markers. Albuquerque, NM-based community-engaged project organized by Sanitary Tortilla Factory artist-in-residence Christine Wong Yap during Summer 2017.

Belonging is an Albuquerque, NM-based, community-engagement and participatory project, by Christine Wong Yap, artist-in-residence at the Sanitary Tortilla Factory.


PROJECT COMPONENTS

  • Story collection about places of belonging in Albuquerque via an open call and workshops with Working Classroom, an arts and education program for young artists from historically ignored communities; and Saranam, a two-year housing and education program for homeless families in Albuquerque.
  • Site-related place markers with excerpts of narratives and creative response activities.
  • ‘Zine with a map of the place markers.

 
WHEN

Residency: June 1–July 7, 2017.

Story collection: Through June 23, 2017. After June 23, stories will be accepted, but may not inform the place markers and ’zine. Participants could submit a story of a personal place of belonging online (or download a PDF to mail or drop off); or interview others and submit their story online (or via PDF).

Zine Release and Open-Studio-in-Closing
Friday, July 7, 6-9pm / First Fridays ARTScrawl
Sanitary Tortilla Factory
Pick up a ’zine ($5) with a map of place markers. (Story contributors will receive a free copy; a free PDF download will also be available.) Map your migration journey and places of belonging on hand-drawn maps. More info.

The ’zine and project ephemera will stay on view at Sanitary Tortilla Factory for a limited time (TBD). The place markers (in public and private spaces) will be displayed indefinitely.

 

WHO

Everyone with meaningful connections to Albuquerque were welcomed to participate... Since the project aims to challenge assumptions and declare We All Belong Here, it focuses on the stories of immigrants, refugees, Native and indigenous peoples, and groups whose belonging has been questioned. Submissions in non-English languages—accompanied by English interpretations—were welcomed.

Places where you have felt a sense of belonging relates to people, activities, and events that have made you you. Telling your story is a chance to acknowledge, feel gratitude, and celebrate those parts of yourself and your communities. Commemorating belonging helps a place reflect personal lived experiences and cultural resources.

GOAL

The goal of Belonging is to reveal the pivotal experiences that shape one’s sense of belonging and connectedness to a place and country, and how it ultimately defines our authentic selves.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

I am a project-based artist whose participatory work creates spaces for self-reflection and conversation. My projects are inspired by salient emotional experiences and are informed by concepts of positive psychology and subjective well-being. I have conducted two past projects using surveys and interviews to explore collaboration and interdependence, and shared the results via ’zines and hand-drawn diagrams. Participants’ contributions have led me to deeper thinking, new directions, conversations that continue to be meaningful years later, and inspiration for new artworks, including letterpress-printed activities and artists’ books. I hope to keep learning about belonging, inclusion, and perspectives in Albuquerque. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area (particularly Oakland), I have lived in Queens, NY since 2010.

 

THANKS to Sanitary Tortilla Factory, sheri crider, Lucy R. Lippard, and Bill Gilbert for the residency opportunity. Thanks to workshop participants at Working Classroom and Saranam; Gabrielle Uballez; and Debra Maese. And thanks to everyone who has shared their story and supported this project with recommendations, referrals, spreading the word, and interest!

Caption: Christine Wong Yap and participants (TBD), Belonging, 2017, social practice, mixed media.