DIGITAL NOMADS Human Mind and Migration Volume II
July 19, 2020
Window of CONTENT NOMADS IN NATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 COMMUNITY & BELONGING . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 PEOPLE & POLITICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 DEU-GEUN DEU-GUEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
HOSTILE TERRAIN 94 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 MODERN DAY DREAMERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 MIGRANTS IN PERFORMING ARTS . . . . . . . . . . 17
COVID-SERIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 HEROES IN HEALTHCARE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
COMFORT & CODE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 UCSB STUDENTS ON BEING AMERICAN . . . . . . . 34
ABOUT & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
. . . . . . 36
DIGITAL NOMADS Today’s world is on ﬁre
In this special magazine
The death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hand of a white police officer once again laid bare that deep-seated and perpetual racism continues to plague our country and the world. It caused hundreds of thousands of people to demand justice across 700 U.S. cities and in Brazil, New Zealand, Mexico, France, the Netherlands, the UK, and Germany.
Alex Moon interviewed the first Korean American Mayor of a major U.S. city. After witnessing thousands of Korean-owned businesses burned to the ground during the L.A. Riots in 1992, Sukhee Kang decided to run for political ofﬁce to represent his community.
This comes at the tail end of COVID-19, a virus that forced the world into lockdown, infected more than 14 million and killed 597,105 people, and counting. Currently, we are looking at half of the workforce at risk worldwide. With more than 40 million people out of a job in the U.S. alone—this pain and loss will have far-reaching negative consequences in everyone’s communities. Since 2015, impactmania has featured people who drive cultural, social, and economic impact. We have always looked to people and shared how they handle themselves in a bad situation. During these past few weeks, we saw Portland police officers kneeling in front of protestors in solidarity. White, black, and brown people demonstrating peacefully in a square — while maintaining social distancing — in The Hague, the Netherlands. The Japanese SoftBank commited $100 million to invest in minority-owned businesses. Reddit’s co-founder gave up his board seat to make space for a Black candidate. The NFL finally admitted that it was wrong not to listen to their players’ protest against racial inequality. Over the years, impactmania has featured more than 300 people in 30+ countries representing an economic value of $1.9 trillion and connected hundreds of students and impact organizations in order to accelerate positive change. When we started this special Digital Nomad publication at the start of 2020, the team (seven nationalities but all in Santa Barbara, California) had no idea that we would be forced to work as digital nomads ourselves. Our work has never felt more relevant.
Natalie Gomez covered UCLA’s Jason De León’s art installation Hostile Terrain 94 at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum (UCSB). The participatory exhibition goals is to memoralize the thousands who have died in the Sonoran Desert as a result of U.S. border policies. Natalie also connected with professionals in theatre, Irwin Appel; dance, Tarja Huuskonen; and music, Cristina Pato to reflect on how the nomadic nature of the performing arts contributes to global connection and personal growth. Hannah Chua spoke with Filipina labor migrants in the health sector about their experiences during the COVID pandemic. We also asked 19 people around the world, including a two-time Grammy award winner and an Olympian, to share what they think our post-COVID world should look like. Joanne Mun and Laic Beugre delved into what it means to be a digital nomad. They interviewed Julia Haking and Jonas Onland whose main work is done through digital technology, location-independently. The world followed suit shortly after March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. We all became digital nomads. Air, water, and the Internet don’t have borders. Neither do racism and viruses. At the core of the world’s unrest is frustration with who we think belongs or doesn’t belong in our communities. And who are benefiting or negatively affected. Often, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, shows that underneath the various pigmentation of our skin color, different cultural customs, and clothing choices, we are all humankind. Before we decide to emigrate to Mars, let’s make Earth a place worth staying.
NOMADS IN NATURE
N T LISM N T LISM
By Joanne Mun
Go to Google Images and look up “digital nomad,” you will find a trio of repeating objects: a person, a laptop, and landscapes — blue beaches, hung hammocks, and luscious greenery. Talk to a digital nomad, and they will most likely point you to Indonesia, Vietnam, or Malaysia. Why?
A DESIRE FOR TRANSCE TRANSCE
E ED N D
Because they probably have done it already. These blessed individuals are not only visitors, but also call these tropical and beautiful places a (temporary) home. Most digital nomads escape to these forests, beaches, and mountains to replenish, revitalize, and rejuvinate. What is a digital nomad? According to Julia Haking, a digital nomad is a “location independent entrepreneur, freelancer or remote employee who uses digital technology to do their work.” Sweden-born, but Bali’s short-term resident, Haking considers herself a “semi-digital nomad” and conducted her Ph.D. research thesis in 2017 on the Digital Nomad Lifestyle: A Field Study in Bali. With the help of Haking’s research and psychologists, this article will explain how these nomadic migrations affect our brain and our soul.
“Nature itself is the best physician." -Hippocrates
DIGITAL NOMADS THAT RETURN TO NATURE RESTORE THEIR MINDS:
DIGITAL NOMADS THAT RETURN TO NATURE REDISCOVER THEIR INDIVIDUALITY:
According to an article from Health Promotion International, those who seek contact with nature “intuitively understand the personal health and well-being benefits.” Currently, mental health disorders, including mental illness, is one of the biggest constituents of the global burden of disease. There is a direct correlation with mental illness and restrictions of human-to-nature contact, especially in cities. “Urbanization, resource exploitation, and lifestyle changes” have restricted our possibility for human contact with nature in many societies. For millennia, humans thrived while adapting in natural environments; however, it has only been a few generations that humans have inhabited an urban lifestyle.
Transcendentalism is a philosophy that values the spiritual, rather than the material, in pursuit of life fulfillment. Coined by philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, he hurried away from the bible to find himself in nature. He believes that while we search for ourselves, our individuality will manifest when we return to nature. In my interview with Julia Haking, I asked if transcendental concepts inﬂuences this digital nomad culture, and she responded immediately with, “Yes, absolutely.”
A recent study by Stanford Psychophysiology Researcher Gregory Bratman and Psychology Professor James Gross evaluated brain activity in nature versus a city. Those that took nature walks had decreased neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, which controls our brain’s rumination activity. The nature-goers had less negatively repetitive thoughts compared to city walkers, demonstrating nature is medicinal — it actually helps regulate our emotions. Furthermore, George Mackerron and Susana Mourato in Happiness is Greater in Natural Environments explain why nature enriches mental well-being more than the city. We lose sleep over the 2 a.m. honks and 5 a.m. construction, raising our stress levels and blood pressure, coupled with the poor air quality polluting not only our immune systems, but also our planet. However, in nature, we are socially and actively recreational. We eagerly do not mind jaunting around organic greens and blues with our friends or even strangers, promoting and encouraging physical exercise and social interaction. The more our physical and mental behaviors and habits come into contact with nature, the merrier and more at peace we can be.
“Nature is made to conspire with spirit to emancipate us.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
This philosophy concerns self-reliance, self-discovery, and individuality. One achieves personal authenticity by engaging with the natural world. Emerson believes “God” is a divine spirit rather than an actual being, and is in every part of this world’s creation. Thus, the divine spark is in each and every one of us. By following ourselves, we release divinity in ways that are hidden in history, society, and religion. The individual is a "god in ruins," but we have it within us to reconnect and come closer to the divine by casting off customs to rebuild ourselves. In Haking’s interview, she mentions how digital nomads aspire to have autonomy and to “escape the system” of cultural, political, and societal norms. These digital nomads release themselves from the prisoned cubicle nine-to-five jobs and instead, open their office to the outdoors where their lungs are met with crisp air and minds are touched with something greater than mankind. Thoreau and Emerson believed people fulfill themselves as humans with self-reliance, self-confidence, independence, and nonconformity. These ideas of the real individual can form a true and genuine community and society. Freedom is the greatest key of all. Haking can attribute her positive digital nomad experiences to the three pillars of freedom: professional freedom, spatial freedom, and personal freedom. “Just feeling that you have all these opportunities, and you don't need to follow a certain system,” Haking claims; to have this freedom experience, “creates excitement all the time.” Thus, in order to be free, we need to return to the places where nature and systems of conformity are untouched by human hands. As we explore the beauty and grandness of landscapes and materials untouched by nature, we poetically discover ourselves from new connections that sprout into deeper meanings. Nature is our friend, our mothers, and our home. Remember to go visit her. She misses us just as much as we miss her.
COMMUNITY & BELONGING Miyoung Chun, former executive vice president of the Kavli Foundation, led the U.S. Brain Institute, and is currently the co-founder and CEO of Alzheimer X. Dr. Chun is part of impactmania’s Women of Impact program. She traveled with Paksy Plackis-Cheng, founder of impactmania and senior fellow at UC Santa Barbara, to New Zealand.
What do people do when they are not rooted in a community? What happens, for example, to people who live like nomads? This is a profoundly fundamental question for global international citizens. I fully embrace my heritage of Korea and the amazing opportunities that are given to me in America. I love both countries very much. On the other hand, at this stage of my life, I often ask myself: Who am I? Where do I belong? How do I deﬁne myself so I can share it to my children and grandchildren? What would they see of me? This is a profound problem for those of us who have taken opportunities in life — learning to combine our old culture and bringing in new. I was telling our friends who lived on the beautiful land that the Māori reclaimed. I was really jealous and envious to be honest. I hope they utilize this opportunity. We don’t have it — we are struggling on how to get ourselves together, ﬁnding our anchor. They have an anchor — on a site that billionaires dream of — with a 360 degree view. I hope they make the best out of their opportunity.
IMPACTMANIA’S WOMEN OF IMPACT TRAVEL TO NEW ZEALAND
MIYOUNG CHUN, DAME ARETA KOOPU, AND PAKSY PLACKISCHENG DURING IMPACTMANIA’S WOMEN OF IMPACT NEW ZEALAND
360 degree view in New Zealand
MIYOUNG CHUN, LED THE U.S. BRAIN INITIATIVE, PICTURED WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA WHO ANNOUNCED THE INITIATIVE DURING THE STATE OF THE UNION IN 2013 7
People & Politics By Alex Ho Geun Moon
For the impactmania and UCSB program: Human Mind and Migration (HMM), we are featuring migrants who have been contributing cultural, social, and economic wealth and health to their adopted countries.
Korean-born Sukhee Kang was inspired by the Los Angeles riots to help his community and became the ďŹ rst Korean American to serve as mayor of a major U.S. city. His story showcases how we can strengthen the community through organized power and ďŹ ght systematic injustice in America.
What is your immigration story, Mr. Kang? My wife, Joanne, and I came to America when I was 23 years old in 1977. I was born and raised in Seoul, Korea, where I attended Posung High School, Korea University, and also finished my military duty. My wife and I were looking a better life during the time of political chaos and economic development in South Korea. I started working for an electronics company called Circuit City. I was the first Asian salesman in the company and became a top salesman in four months. I wanted to show my boss, who hired me, and the rest of the salespeople that I, Sukhee Kang, can do it. After two years as a salesman, I became the general store manager in Orange County and continually set the record in sales and management. But after sustaining a high level of productivity, I was passed on promotion to the next position. I felt that I reached a glass ceiling no matter how hard I worked and accomplished. After 15 years working at Circuit City I left to become an entrepreneur.
How did you get into politics? The Los Angeles riots were the first time I felt inspired to get involved with the Korean American community. In fact, it was a wake-up call for me because I never associated or worked with the Korean American community until then. On TV, I saw thousands of Korean businesses burning to the ground and people died. Many Korean American small business owners lost their lifelong establishments and for the first time, I felt injustice had occurred in America. I felt strongly that I needed to get involved to empower the Korean American community. I had the privilege to become the first Asian American council member in the history of Irvine. I was re-elected in 2006. I ran for mayor in 2008 and became the first Korean American mayor in a major U.S. city and was re-elected with the 64.1% of the vote, the highest percentage ever in Irvine’s history and the record still remains.
How does the recent wave of Korean Culture—the many Korean products, embracing of K-Pop, K-Beauty, and the four Academy Awards for Bong Joon-Ho for the movie Parasite — affect the minority status of Korean/ Asian Americans in the U.S.? When we talk about the minority status, I think it’s all in our head. When you consider yourself as a minority, obviously, it doesn’t give you much pride. We must feel proud to be Korean Americans given the Korean Culture has proven to be excellent. If we box ourselves in the concept of minority and show lack of confidence, we are not going to be able to overcome challenges and reach our full potential. We always want to think bigger and higher, that we are making a difference in mainstream society and take ownership in our culture and services to others. It shows the power of our possibility as a community — not just as minorities, but Americans who can contribute to our community in full potential.
Both the 1992 LA riots and the George Floyd protests were fueled by police brutality towards African American men. How do you see this issue, and what has and has not changed since 1992? Two incidents of police brutality resemble their nature of racism or racial bias. The difference is that the LA Riots severely damaged K-Town in Los Angeles where many Korean businesses were targeted by the protesters. The current protest has been spreading all over the U.S. expressing their anger of injustice and extreme racism. The Korean community was unprotected in 1992 and therefore, damages were unprecedented. It was, indeed, a lesson learned for the Korean American community that they couldn’t live alone. They learned how to build bridges with other ethnic communities and the Korean American community has contributed a great deal in economic prosperity for the region and social justice. So, on these protests that are spreading across the country, while I support “Black Lives Matter,” violence should never be justified and tolerated. It reminds me of Dr. Martin Luther King’s immortal speech: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” After all, this is the United States of America where everybody is welcomed and respected regardless of origin, color of their skin, or religion. We all should be united, not divided.
Add your migration story to the HMM program: www.hmm.ucsb.edu. Read the complete interview on the impactmania site: http://www.impactmania.com/im/first-korean-american-mayor-of-a-major-u-s-city-sukhee-kang/
— deu-geun deu-guen — the sound of the heart pumping used to express excitement in Korean By Alex Ho Geun Moon
Wona Lee, a lecturer in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies at UC Santa Barbara, shares how the popularity of K-Pop caused a spike in students signing up for Korean language classes. Lee recalls it is similar to how she started learning English by listening to American pop music. Discovering a societal hierarchy between English and other minority languages, she realized bilingual education is not just about language education — it is more about celebrating students’ identity. Is there any correlation between the rise of K-Pop and UCSB providing Korean classes? One of the survey questions I gave prospective students was, “Why do you want to take this class?” Around 80% of the students said that they are K-Pop BTS or EXO fans. About half of my classroom consists of Chinese international students and the other half are students of color. I have one or two Caucasian students per class. I think this has to do with a lack of Asian/Asian American culture that the minority students can cherish in the United States. About half of Chinese international students grew up watching Korean drama and listening to K-Pop, [as] it is pervasive in Asia. It makes sense for Asian students to enjoy K-Pop, instead of French, Spanish, or Italian music or culture. I think that Korean classrooms are not just a place of language learning, but a place where they can actually be together and share the sense of community. Among that sense of belonging, it is my projected learning outcome for the students to experience a sense of achievement as well. I also think that the students are gaining life lessons from music, especially from the group BTS, whose music encourages self-love. Especially for the Asian American students, no cultural figures have said or taught anything positive similar to this. This is something such as hip-hop couldn’t offer for these students — a positive way of expressing cultural suppression and minority identity. It also offers a role model effect to look at people singing in their own language on a major American TV show. It is a very empowering phenomenon. The reason why I came into the Ph.D. program is because my son was ashamed of his own culture. I think that many minority students experience this throughout their childhood. But now, Asian performers are on mainstream media and sing in foreign languages. That empowers and gives a sense of pride to minority students. Even though I don’t agree with the K-Pop industry as a whole, the impact that the K-Pop stars have on the younger generation is very influential.
Read the complete interview on the impactmania site: http://www.impactmania.com/im/wona-lee-on-the-impact-of-k-pop-in-korean-language-learning/
HOSTILE TERRAIN 94: ARTS & BORDERS By Natalie Gomez have attempted to cross the deadly Sonoran desert of Arizona, known for its extreme heat and dryness, in search of a better life. They were all part of the art installation in front of them called Hostile Terrain 94.
EXAMPLE OF COMPLETED WALL MAP
Hostile Terrain 94 is global pop-up exhibit put on by the Los Angeles-based non-profit organization the Undocumented Migration Project, founded by De León in 2009. The exhibit aims to confront community members with the often overlooked, harsh realities of undocumented migration at the Mexican-U.S. border by requiring the participation of community members to complete the installation — a 25-footlong wall map of the Arizona-Mexico border with over 3,200 toe tags attached. Each toe tag represents a dead body that has been found in the Sonoran desert between the mid-1990s and 2019 and contains the available and identifiable information of that person — case number, name, age, sex, date the body was located, condition of the body, cause of death and coordinates where the remains were found — handwritten by the public.
On their first Friday back at UC Santa Barbara after returning from Winter Break, a group of student-interns walked into a new exhibit they were assigned to facilitate at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum. Skylar Lines, a 20-year old from Napa, California, gawked at the large wall immediately apparent from the entrance Lines, along with this group of interns, would be the — remarkable not for its artistic extravagance but its first to write these devastating details on the toe tags, blankness. kickstarting UCSB’s very own HT94 exhibition which also includes items recovered by De León while he As a third year student majoring in the history of art and was conducting his anthropological research in the architecture, Lines was trained to know that this bare desert. “Writing names is powerful,” Lines said, when wall, systematically covered with a series of white printer reflecting on how filling out a toe tag for a 19-year-old papers each denoting a large letter and number, would girl really hit home. normally be the focus of any installation. And, in only a few hours, the museum would hold its Winter Opening Reception for wealthy donors to come get an early access look at what their money has contributed to. Staring at this grid-like image, she mumbled to her peers, “Shouldn’t the exhibit be finished by now?” But as she was forced to move deeper in the room to make space for the other interns, circling around the large tables at the center of the gallery, she caught sight of the collage made of clearly worn, dirty t-shirts pinned around the doorway she had just passed through, opposite from the main wall, and a spark of understanding shone in her eyes.
“The shock invites you to ask, ‘How can I change this?’ and take action.” -Skylar Lines
Over the next few months, the rest of the toe tags will be filled out by the Santa Barbara, Goleta and UCSB communities and transported to the wall map depicting the Arizona desert at the border. Museum interns and staff will geolocate the toe tags to the exact coordinates where each person’s body was discovered. When finished, 3,200 toe tags will be hanging from red map pins and all paper grids, which correspond “This is history,” Lines said she remembered thinking. to manila folders holding the bodies of that zone’s information, will be gone. “Not just any ordinary art show.” As Lines and the other museum interns would soon learn from the visiting head curator himself, UCLA Professor Jason De León, those t-shirts on the wall are just some of the objects left behind by the millions of migrants who
Lines was pleasantly surprised that the AD&A Museum was bringing in such a politically charged exhibition to Santa Barbara County, which as of July 2018 had a population of nearly 450,000 people, according
to the U.S. Census Bureau. “Institutions like museums tend to stay apolitical in order to please the majority, especially if they are in a relatively small city compared to, say, Los Angeles or San Francisco,” she said. “What UCSB is doing is f---ing ballsy.”
making them feel. Then, another student disagreed and told us that she did not feel bad for the people represented on the wall because ‘they attempted to cross illegally and knew what they were doing’,” Canter said.
Of Santa Barbara’s population, 85.4% are white and 14.6% comprise other minorities — a staggering statistic until one looks a bit closer. Within Santa Barbara 45.8% are estimated to have Hispanic origins, affirming the area’s diversity and potential stake in the exhibition. Additionally, from 2014-2018, 22.9% of the county’s population reported they had been born in another county and 39.7% spoke a language other than English at home.
While Canter admits hearing the student’s differing perspective on immigration was difficult, he said he views it as a positive memory as it fostered a space for dialogue. “She was actually very willing to talk about this, not in an aggressive way, and all of us at the table were able to have a really stimulating and emotional conversation,” he added.
Hostile Terrain 94 is currently partnering with over 130 exhibition hosting partners both nationally and internationally, a number that was originally set to be 94 (hence the exhibition’s name) but has steadily kept growing. Gabriel Canter and Nicole Smith, former students and interns of De León at the University of Michigan, now serve as the coordinators of the exhibition following their recent 2019 graduation. In January, they visited UCSB with De León to help bring HT94 to the AD&A Museum. Canter, who holds a B.A. in sociocultural anthropology, vocalized the exhibition’s main purpose to the student-interns:
“To get people to come together, write down the names of the dead, memorialize them and think about the U.S. policy responsible for their lost lives.” -Gabriel Canter
In 1994, the United States implemented a new border control policy called Prevention Through Deterrence. The policy heightened border patrol enforcement at more populated, urban ports of entry which migrants were historically accustomed to crossing. U.S. Border Patrol officials believed this would discourage individuals from illegally crossing through the more remote and dangerous natural environments left less attended to, such as what they deemed the “hostile terrain” of the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona. However, this strategy failed as more than six million people have attempted the journey since the year 2000, with at least 3,200 of the crossers dying along the way.
With the opening reception of the museum looming closer, Leticia Cobra Lima, Museum Internship Program coordinator, worried about what the emotional toll might be on her students from encountering and facilitating the exhibit. “We have a diverse cohort of students,” Cobra Lima said carefully. “The exhibition could produce a vast array of reactions.” In fact, this was the art history doctoral student Cobra Lima’s main concern from the moment the HT94 exhibition was introduced to her by organizers months prior. Before the installation was fully installed, she was shown an example of a toe tag that produced “a brutal feeling” and “a lot of unexpected sorrow” in her when she saw the crosser was from Brazil — Cobra Lima’s home country. “The people directly impacted might feel differently than those born in the U.S.,” she said. “Both reactions are important to make meaningful dialogue… but I want to provide them with the help they might need and only allow as much contact with the exhibition as they feel comfortable with.” Ava Robles, a 20-year-old third year from Pasadena, California, was one of the student-interns with a personal connection to the exhibition. In 1952, decades
“We’ve done the exhibit eight times now and each one was in a pretty different region, mostly with different student demographics,” Canter said. “The ways each community interacts with the exhibit is always really interesting to me — and telling of certain political climates.” Although the exhibition aims to stand in solidarity with migrants across the world, Canter said not every audience has shared this notion. “At one of our earlier prototypes, I had a discussion with a group of students who were filling out toe tags. Most of them were very emotional and telling me about how the project was
JASON DE LEÓN IN FRONT OF T-SHIRTS FROM THE SONORAN DESERT
before the U.S. enacted the Prevention Through Deterrence border policy, Robles’ grandfather entered California through one of the more frequented crossing points by train. The HT94 gallery space features a table of what De León calls “Migrant Artifacts,” which attempt to bring in the voices of real people who crossed into the exhibit. The migrant artifacts include objects left behind in the Sonoran Desert that the Undocumented Migration Project collected, photo albums that migrants themselves have put together from their journey and donated, and audio recordings of interviews conducted with people who have crossed. For history of art and architecture and religious studies double major Robles, it was the 2009 photo album “It’s a Dry Heat,” which contains pictures of migrants on trains, that affected her the most. “I always understood intellectually what my grandfather went through,” Robles said.
“I’m a very visual person, so the images made me truly feel the impact of his journey and that it is not just one isolated event but a mass migration.” -Ava Robles
Later that night during the Winter Opening Reception, Robles was one of the interns working the exhibition. “Writing the toe tags is difficult when you really start thinking about the people and their lives,” Robles said, after the fact. “But while helping in the exhibition and instructing visitors I was able to detach myself from my personal connection and explain it well.” Nonetheless, Robles has yet to return and work the exhibition a second time. “If I wasn’t doing anything else and was asked, I would do it again,” Robles said. “Though it has become harder for me to be in there as time has passed.” The wall map in UCSB’s HT94 exhibition will be an evolving piece as more toe tags are to be added as the exhibition coordinators, Canter and Smith, sift through the updated data downloaded from public government records and send over new information. The United States currently still adheres to the Prevention Through Deterrence border policy, and everyday people continue to risk death by crossing. The policy has since expanded to areas in Texas, where hundreds have perished while migrating through an unpopulated wilderness. Smith, who holds a B.A. in anthropology, recalls what it was like seeing the HT94 exhibit fully installed for
IT’S DRY HEAT (2009) PHOTO ALBUM + OBJECTS FOUND IN SONORAN DESERT
the first time. “There was just a wave of silence that came across the room,” Smith said. “I realized how powerful this exhibition could be. It was really overwhelming seeing the pure density of the tags and just understanding the devastating toll of U.S. policies on human lives.” “There’s a lot of things going on in the media about undocumented migration, a lot of it sensationalized. We want people to realize that this is not just a headline, but something that real people are suffering through, real people who are dying at the hand of a U.S. policy,” she said.
“I hope that people who see HT94 will recognize the urgency at which change is needed, not sit idly knowing people are continuing to die. We all have voices and I hope that more people will use them to speak up and stand up for what is right.” -Nicole Smith
In the year leading up to the November 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, De León and his team will collect toe tags written by the majority of the host spaces and compile them in an installation in Washington, DC. The result of the show is to be a visual representation of how decisions made by those elected to the U.S. government can lead to mass fatalities and invite others, as UCSB student-intern Lines said, “to take action.” “Not everything in a museum is going to be an abstract painting on the wall that people just ‘Ooo and Aaa’ at,” Lines commented. “Art can act as a powerful means of political change.”
Adapted from the original article on the impactmania site: http://www.impactmania.com/im/hostile-terrain-94-art-as-a-means-for-political-change/
Modern-Day Dreamers Denisse Gonzalez was 3 years old when she went with her mother on a long car ride. That fateful night affected her identity, freedom, and opportunities for the rest of her life. On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration can’t shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It will allow nearly 800,000 young people, known as Dreamers, to avoid deportation and remain in the United States. Paksy Plackis-Cheng in Berlin, Germany Zooms with Denisse Gonzalez in Los Angeles, California. Denisse, you are a Dreamer. Do you even remember the trip from Mexico to California at age 3? I just remember it being dark. It was a long car ride. My mom and my dad split up when I was small. I was living with my grandmother for two years or three years. My mom lived in Los Angeles. She came back to collect me.
How do you feel even telling that story? I’ve gone through so many emotions just thinking about that, because to me it was just a normal car ride. To everybody else it’s, “Well, you’re not equal here” and then there are so many consequences to what happened that night. It’s crazy to think about it. I didn’t really choose.
What did the recent Supreme Court ruling mean to you? Are you still worried? Yeah, Trump rescinded DACA in 2017. That was more impactful for me. My DACA was expiring, because DACA only lasts two years. You have to renew again and again. DACA was rescinded for a while before the Supreme Court decided. There are organizations in downtown LA that were offering free services to help you renew your DACA. I applied, but they told me that if it was rescinded I couldn’t renew. That was really disappointing, especially because I was still in school. That was really hard, but I recently renewed in April. I still would have had two years to figure out something before my DACA would expire, unless it would have been void. I wasn’t sure about the details.
Where would you even go if the ruling was against DACA and you would have to leave the country? If the ruling was against DACA it would have made my life 10x more difficult. I wouldn’t necessarily have to leave the country, but the risk of getting deported would be higher. And I wouldn’t be able to legally work in the U.S. I’ve been in a relationship — I met my boyfriend in college and we’ve been together for about three years. My boyfriend and I have plans to get married and I know that it would allow me to possibly gain U.S. residency. But I don’t want my status to play any role in our future marriage. I know there are plenty of other people that don’t even have that option. Moving to Mexico would be crazy because I’ve lived here my entire life. I have never been to Mexico since I came here at age 3. I don’t even know what it looks like.
Do you know other Dreamers in your situation? There’s a whole community in college. I was interning for Undocumented Student Services at UC Santa Barbara so I was working with students in the same situation. We would provide basic information to students on the resources that the school provided. To the outside world nobody would know you are undocumented. I might have met more people and wouldn’t know, because we don’t really talk about it. Up until we actually get to know each other more, then you start telling each other about how you grew up. Or when people invite you out of the country for a trip and you’re like, “I can’t go.” Traveling abroad or studying abroad was out of the question for me.
Is being undocumented nerve wracking on a daily basis or are you resigned to the situation? I think it affected me more in high school. I’m also a first generation college student. I didn’t have anybody to tell me, this is how you apply to colleges, etc. Thankfully, my school helped me out a lot with that process. But the whole thing was nerve wracking and just overwhelming. Especially because you don’t know your options as undocumented: Do I even qualify for financial aid? What options are there for me because I don’t qualify for federal aid?
How has COVID affected you? At first it was very scary. All my plans were ruined, because I was working and then laid off. That makes sense because a business has to be resourceful during times like these. But now everything’s opening back up, I’m trying to look for jobs so I can start working again. Eventually, I want to go to graduate school, but I have to look at my financial aid options. This whole COVID pandemic reset everything.
You’re in LA where they started week four of racial justice protesting. How has that affected you? It is the community that I grew up in that is out protesting: low income, minority. It’s definitely stressful just seeing that in the news — seeing friends on social media going out and protesting. I didn’t go personally because of the virus and being cautious of that. But also because of my status — it could be more dangerous and risky for me in case the police stops me. If that goes on my record it will affect me and my citizenship eventually.
I thought about all those things. It was really stressful. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough; I wanted to do more.
Apart from being able to voice your opinion, what would your life have been like if you were not undocumented? I would have studied abroad; I would have traveled a few times by now. I don’t know, just so much. I don’t think my college application process would have been as stressful. Even how I see myself. It affects your identity, how you think of yourself. I admire people who are very outspoken about their identity as undocumented. But I don’t like conflict; I’m not a confrontational person. I guess I fear being judged for it. So I never really come out and say my status unless I really have to or it is the topic of discussion or if it helps somebody else. It’s getting better now. I learned to accept it. As you get older, you accept a lot of things about yourself and you just come more into your own skin.
Do you think that there has been a change in how people think about this whole situation? Do you see people have more empathy about being undocumented and what that must mean? Definitely in California — among friends, family, and my community. I feel that there are a lot of people who back us up, even celebrities and politicians. But then, even if people support you, they might see you differently. I’m on Twitter and see where people stand on issues. The comments against us are very disheartening. I’m just not going to worry about it too much, but then I was definitely happy when I heard the news that we get to stay. I also read and heard that the reason why it didn’t get approved was because Trump didn’t go about it the right way. And he might try it again, so there’s always that fear. That there will be a time he will be successful. I’m going to take it day by day and I’m going to have to do what I have to do tomorrow.
I heard an undocumented girl say on NPR, “I guess I don’t have to get married now!” Yeah, that’s pretty much how a lot of us are feeling! You should have the freedom to marry on your terms, not because of political consequences. Denisse Gonzalez graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in History and History of Art and Architecture with an emphasis in Museum Studies, and was part of the impactmania internship program in 2019-2020.
MOVEMENT & PERFORMANCE
Conversations with Irwin Appel, Cristina Pato, and Tarja Huuskonen
By Natalie Gomez
Careers in the performing arts inherently come with a life of constant migratory movement. Performers will find themselves in hundreds of different cities, or even countries, throughout their lives in order to pursue and share their art. Leaving one’s home and having to readjust to new surroundings can have lingering effects on a person’s brain, and being exposed to different cultures often ends up inﬂuencing their creative outputs. To explore how this nomadic lifestyle has shaped the lives of performers, I have compiled interviews with three performers: an actor, a musician, and a dancer. Each artistic performer shares personal stories about how migration, the arts, and the brain intertwine in their lives. The achievements of these modern-day migrants in the performing arts serve as examples of how humanity can benefit from a more interconnected world.
View Natalie’s migration stream on the Human Mind and Migration site: https://www.hmm.ucsb.edu/migration/modern-day-migrants
Unifying Humanity Through Theater Irwin Appel is the Chair of the Department of Theater and Dance at UCSB, a professor of theater within the department, and the founding artistic director of Naked Shakes. From 2005-2018, he was the director of UCSB’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Actor Training Program — the only BFA Acting Program in the UC System. He also worked as a professional actor, director, and composer across the United States. impactmania spoke to Irwin Appel to gain academic insight on the life of a traveling actor, how one designs curriculum in the performing arts for a global pool of students, and what seems to make plays universal. Throughout, he excitedly advocates for using theater as an avenue for inspiring humanity and empathy within local communities and worldwide.
Do you feel that there’s something about theater that brings people together? I do, because it’s about empathy. Somebody thousands of years ago — maybe even back in the caveman days — decided there is something about pretending to be somebody else in front of a group of people. That we have in us, mysteriously, who knows how, an ability to play roles of other people, to step into the shoes of other people. It is as human as anything. When a play is done well — I remember seeing a documentary about a production of Arthur Miller‘s famous play Death of a Salesman that was done in China with Chinese actors. People in the audience would talk about how “that reminds me of my dad, that was my family,” even though they have completely different cultures. That’s what theater can do. Theater can bring us together and bring empathy in a way that nothing else can.
Do you feel that technology opens up more avenues for a global dialogue? Completely. I love some of these YouTube videos where a song will start in Los Angeles, but then you’ll see people playing along with it in Africa and Singapore.
NAKED SHAKES: THE DEATH OF KINGS
However, one of the magical things about theater is you have to be there. It’s an ephemeral art form. When a show closes, it’s gone. It’s not preserved the way that video is or the way that a music file is.
NAKED SHAKES: THE WINTER’S TALE ENSEMBLE
Is theater an important way of spreading cultural change and propelling political change? Absolutely. I think sometimes it’s much more effective than political change. Because again, while political change seems to promote, especially in this day and age, division — theater promotes empathy and inclusion. I’m addicted to politics. But right now in the United States, politics is dividing us in a very dangerous way. Whereas, theater has the power to allow people to see it from somebody else’s point of view. That’s really, really important. Sometimes I think that’s the best service we can provide — allowing audiences to see a character. To see a different point of view through a character’s behavior.
Do you feel Shakespeare, in particular, does that in a different way? Absolutely, I think that the reason Shakespeare has lasted so long is because of what Shakespeare says about being human, what it means to be human. Shakespeare has compelled us since he first started writing. It’s made artists want to keep doing these plays over and over again. And it’s made audiences want to see them. There are other great writers and in fact, not all of Shakespeare’s stuff is great. There are plays and scenes that I don’t like as much — even when you take a great play, like Hamlet. But what’s exciting about it is that the collective consciousness of the last four hundred years keeps regenerating every time Hamlet is done. And that is very special and seems to capture people all over the world.
Read the complete interview on the impactmania site: http://www.impactmania.com/im/ucsb-professor-irwin-appel-and-the-human-experience-of-theater/
Cultural Exchange of Music Cristina Pato received international acclaim for her mastery of the Galician bagpipe and as a classical pianist. A current resident of New York City, her unique instrument has taken her on tours throughout the world. Her last two solo albums, Migrations and Latina, are dedicated to exploring her U.S. immigration experience, and in 2011 she founded her own festival, called Galician Connection, with the aim to facilitate an intercultural dialogue through music. She also serves as a Learning Advisor for Silkroad, founded by Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, an organization that creates music seeking to engage difference, spark radical cultural collaboration and passion-driven learning for a more hopeful and inclusive world. CRISTINA PATO WITH
impactmania speaks with Cristina Pato about her acGALICIAN GAITA tive dual professional careers, in both performance and education, devoted to propelling cultural exchange as well as the way her immigration roots have shaped her.
How has your Spanish heritage inﬂu- for survival when they migrated, and they enced your music and in what ways were able to give us all the things they’ve does traveling continue to inspire never had access to. you? I’m the daughter of immigrants. My parents, both Galicians, immigrated to Venezuela. They met there and had my oldest sister in Caracas and then they came back to Spain. My father was a musician too, an accordionist, and his way of playing had already been enriched by living in both places. Galicia is a land of emigrants, most of our population migrated during the 19th and 20th centuries, so for us this cultural migration is constantly present.
I am inﬂuenced by my cultural identity as a Galician, but also by my experiences as a touring musician, as a teacher, and as an immigrant-emigrant. All of it makes me who I am as a person. Feeling displaced, when at home in Galicia or when at home in New York City is a feeling I’m getting used to and that makes me understand how complex the word heritage is.
When you did decide to stay in the U.S., were there any difﬁculties that I migrated to the U.S., but mine was a you faced as a migrant and how did choice, and I migrated in very different you overcome them? conditions than my parents did. I was looking for personal growth, cultural growth — I came to get my Ph.D. They were looking
Everybody that moves from one place to the other knows about those challenges.
Sometimes those are bigger when you move from one country to the other, like the immigrations rules, the language or understanding the cultural differences and embracing them. But even when you move from Southern California to Santa Barbara, or from New Jersey to New York, you still have to adjust, and that adjustment is not the same for everybody. Although I’ve been on the road all my life and I’m used to adjusting myself to any possible situation, when you decide to call a place home and decide to start contributing to that place then your whole set of values have to be readjusted and redefined.
Music has such an impact on our brains and well-being. Do you have any thoughts on what the effects of migration might do to our brains? I have thoughts on the effect of migration to my own brain. But that’s just a personal reflection on the fact that once you move away from where you think you belong to, that constant adjustment makes you be more aware of whatever environment you come in. Just being more aware is already a different way of understanding life. Learning a new language or a new set of cultural norms or a new way of interacting with people — all those are things that naturally, without even realizing, are impacting you as a human being. There is a moment, like in the moment I am right now, that I feel like I am in the middle. That I’m in between. I try to carry the best of my culture and the best of the culture I decided to migrate to. Somehow you learn how to leave the bad things aside, take what is working and possible from both cultures, and try to create something unique to yourself out of that combination. That, to me, is connected to awareness. As a musician who has been on tour for over 20 years now, I think it is very different to be on the road and travel, than to become an immigrant. As an immigrant you bring your roots with you and those roots get rerooted in the place to decide to call home. Out of that old root, something new and old is born at the same time: something richer and more beautiful, because it carries the essence of your old home but gets nurtured by the soil and water of your new home.
CRISTINA PATO GALICIAN TRIO
Read the complete interview on the impactmania site: http://www.impactmania.com/im/galician-bagpiper-cristina-pato-on-embracing-her-migration-path/
Dancing to Heal the Brain Tarja Huuskonen, born and raised in Finland, has spent most of her life traveling the world — living both in Europe and in the United States.
TARJA WITH TANGO INSTRUCTOR
She is the founder and CEO of Action for Results, a consulting company of 25+ years dedicated to advancing Life Sciences innovation. Her work brought her to the Santa Barbara, California area, where she suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm while kayaking. This was a near-death event that led her to the Argentine tango as a means to recovery.
Now a brain health activist and patient voice for other brain aneurysm survivors, Tarja is a national spokesperson and ambassador for the Lisa Foundation, and has started her own non-profit organization, the Harbor of Life, focused on empowering patients in their reentry to life within their local communities. She also sponsors a master’s level gap program at California State University Channel Islands, focused on brain aneurysm early stage product innovation. Tarja Huuskonen shares her migration experience, what she has learned from designing and heading a global company, and her thoughts on the way dance interacts with the brain.
How has your culture been received by the communities you found yourself in? In what ways did you take up the culture from the communities here? Culturally, I struggled. The U.S. social culture is extremely outwardly, talkative and smiling a lot. Everybody’s always saying hello, how are you, wanting to make small talk. Which is lovely. Except, it’s almost exactly the opposite of what you’d find in Finland. I like to say that you can hear the silence in Finland. We keep our distance. In social situations, particularly with people you don’t know, you do not take center stage. You stay on the side lines, and observe before you enter into a conversation. It sounds strange but I still can get exhausted from having to step outside of my comfort zone for long periods of time — there is relief in being with other Finns and knowing that I can just “be myself.” There were other factors that contributed to it: I lived in East Lansing, in the student housing. But the town itself had an older community and also many university professors and their families — living in these beautiful big Victorian houses was nothing like I had ever experienced in Finland. I got hired to clean and bake for some of the university professors on weekends. I was grateful for the income, but it made me realize how far I was from the village of “regular people” I had grown up with. Not knowing where I fit in — that was the hard part.
As a brain aneurysm survivor and a health advocate, have you observed any ways that dancing and the brain directly interconnect? Tango is an invitation to connect. The person who asks you to dance, connects with you first with their eyes, and then through the embrace on the dance floor, you move together. Right then and there, you belong. I had always been a high achiever and perhaps also a perfectionist. So in my case, learning tango with a broken brain has taught me that I have to accept my disability to conquer it. Because it’s not the disability that keeps me from doing something — it’s the box inside my head where I got stuck. I had lost me.
I let go of the worry that I can’t follow direction, and started to listen to the cues given by the movement of the person leading, and also the music. I allowed my body to follow. Sometimes I watch others, imitating them first, adjusting it to be mine, and then repeating over and over again. I think my body is now teaching my brain. Memory isn’t just what’s inside our brains: it’s also what’s inside our muscles. I can learn something that’s really hard and retain it without having to remember what the steps are called, or being able to articulate their particular order. That is pure JOY! Music itself has a healing effect on the brain, but coupled with movement and dance, it becomes a way to express ourselves and our emotions. No words needed. It’s almost a ritual — the more I repeat it, the more powerful it becomes in carrying me forward.
TARJA TANGOS AT HARBOR OF LIFE FUNDRAISER
TARJA HEALTH ACTIVIST & PATIENT VOICE
Read the complete interview on the impactmania site: http://www.impactmania.com/im/finnish-ceo-tarja-huuskonen-dancing-to-heal-the-brain/
By Natalie Gomez, Saehee Jong, Vivian Song & Paksy Plackis-Cheng
19 PEOPLE IN A POST-COVID-19 WORLD
Before & After Photos of UCSB: Bike Racks
By: Graeme Jackson, The Bottom Line Photo Editor
impactmania has been featuring and connecting with people who drive cultural, social, & economic impact since its inception in 2015. Our mission did not change during COVID-19, despite schools and businesses having shut down. In response to the current global crisis, impactmania is highlighting the way people are choosing to respond and adapt. We connected with 19 people across the globe, including a Grammy award winner in the United States and an Olympian in New Zealand, to see how they’ve handled the pandemic. Though various countries are dealing with the crisis differently, many of the emotions and experiences of individuals are the same — the need to become more empathetic toward each other. UC Santa Barbara has been a leader in this response. During the pandemic, faculty have shown compassion toward students, while the University has boosted its resources for those in need and supported the greater Santa Barbara community. By distributing grants, accommodating and reconsidering essential services, and making assistance available, they have alleviated some of their students’ stressors during the uncertain and traumatic period. Although it will take time for our campus to return to its normal state, kindness will continue to be a cornerstone in our Gaucho community.
Before & After Photos of UCSB: The Arbor
By: Graeme Jackson, The Bottom Line Photo Editor
A POST-COVID WORLD Executive Coach, Elizabeth Coffey, United Kingdom
I have found the stories of global collaboration in science and engineering so heartening, as we’ve raced to gear up for this fight. Chinese scientists are flying to Italy to share their knowledge of containing the virus. Automotive and aerospace companies are pivoting to churn out ventilators. High street clothing brands are repurposing to sew protective masks and gowns. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could hold onto this barrier-free humanity, going forward? People continuing to help other people across the world?
Fashion Designer, Mary Beth Larkin, California
There is no unity, “community” is little more than a buzzword, and we are weak because of it.
Creator, Monisha Daga, India
What would it take for us, the world’s policy makers and organizations, to see the value of GIFTING the planet three days of detox by voluntary lockdown each year?
HR & Talent Acquisition, Emma Tägt, Sweden
We have good public health insurance, and it has been strengthened during the pandemic. This means that you can stay home sick for 21 days without applying for a medical certificate. You will be able to get up to 80% of your salary — up to a salary of approx. 3,000 euro per month. This makes it easy to follow the recommendation to stay at home, even when you have the slightest symptom.
Strategic Storyteller, Elizabeth Adams, Canada
I expect we’ll be seeing more innovation in the coming months and years to ensure that our communities, economy, and way of life are better prepared for such extenuating and unpredictable scenarios as the one we’re living now.
Translator & Caregiver, Mirtha Hernandez, Peru
I will try to be less obsessive with cleaning. I will follow the Japanese greeting tradition. Shoes outside the house, no kisses and hugs, which will be very difficult for me being Latin. Just a cordial greeting keeping our distances. Strange thing but it needs to happen, unfortunately.
VP of Operations, Salome Isanovic, Germany
Solidarity can get us through uncertain times. I believe when we decelerate from our busy lifestyles, we better understand whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really important. We should support people who have become isolated and lonely.
Researcher & Producer, Vivian Song, New York Hopefully, we will be taking the planetary boundaries as the guideline, instead of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
Chief Commercial Officer, Jose Poyatos, Spain
A common motto in Silicon Valley is, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fail Fast.â&#x20AC;? This encourages companies to come up stronger after a crisis, like this one, and inspire them to take risks and understand consumers better. It will be key to make people consider that our brand is honest and that our proposal is more than simply a sale.
Taoist Master, Yanling Duan, Switzerland
Post-virus time I will be stepping out and speaking out more on the business-unusual: respect business for what value it brings to the people and the planet and support its growth according to the natural rhythm.
A POST-COVID WORLD Social Entrepreneur, Carl Hildebrand, Florida COVID helped me deﬁne what I truly COVET.
Grammy-award winner, Ted Nash, Georgia
Our country and world will need to take better care of its citizens, with more comprehensive health programs and job protection. Education will continue to be a priority. The U.S. will need to learn how to better embrace people from all cultures.
Coach of Chess Champion & Author, Robert Katende, Uganda
For us, community development practitioners, this has informed us on how to emphasize more on self-sustainability and working towards self-reliance for those we serve.
Linguist & Operation Star, Sarah Tiemeyer, Italy During the lockdown, it is important to ﬁnd a purpose on a daily basis to make you feel useful.
Honorary Member of the Russian Academy of Arts, Natella Voyskunskaya, Russia
I don’t take for granted a walk along the seashore at sunset, or a rendez-vous at a cafe, and the like...everything that seemed a kind of simple nothingness. I re-evaluate a lot of things — switching to something more meaningful.
Olympian, Beatrice Faumuina, New Zealand
- Be thankful for all your blessings. - Keep connected with loved ones — Zoom calls! - Be productive – also means be proactive about taking breaks to refuel. I have been working from home now for seven weeks and it is too easy to work, work, work and find yourself mentally and physically exhausted. - Re-evaluate what is meaningful to you.
Founder, Paola Ferrari, Belgium
The BC (Before Corona) times are not times we want to ‘go back’ to — they were not good enough for most of the people on the planet — and for the planet itself. It is time to reimagine and re-invent a Brave, Green, Inclusive, and Prosperous New World. And to put more of the creative, generous, and talented young people in the drivers’ seats.
HR Psychologist, Hilda Gomez, Mexico
COVID-19 is surreal. As the epidemiologists have said, “The Coronavirus is here to stay.” This implies that what we need to start doing from now on is adapt… It will be essential that every person takes responsibility for taking care of themselves and caring for others.
Entrepreneur, Shari Swan, France
COVID-19 is the first pandemic in history whereby technology and social media are being used on a massive scale to keep people safe, productive, and connected while being physically apart. Access for all is a human right and will become vital for the future of telemedicine, digital education, and working from home.
Read the complete interviews: www.impactmania.com
Heroes in Healthcare Filipina CNAs on the Frontlines of COVID-19
By Hannah Chua
Letty Gahuman’s work day in Escondido, California begins promptly at 6:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. Her second shift begins shortly after a 30 minute break, at 3:00 p.m. before ﬁnally ending anywhere between 10:30 to 11:00 p.m. She is just one of the thousands of Filipinas, working 16-hour shifts as CNAs, and risking their lives to take care of our elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
na CNAs take care of their patients with as much compassion and care as they would their own families. How has your work changed since the COVID-19 crisis began? The thought of patients with COVID scares us, but it’s part of our jobs. So far, none of the patients or any of my co-workers at the facility have tested positive, thank God. It is scary to think that now we can’t just go out whenever we want. For us nurses, it’s just going from the house to work and back. We have to be careful if we do go out. We were told that once the hospitals are ﬁlled or are over capacity, then their patients will be sent to nursing facilities. I don’t want to imagine if we do get a COVID patient, but that’s just how it is.
Certiﬁed Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are go-to, entry-level positions for many immigrant Filipinos looking for work in healthcare. It is popular for many reasons, but keen among them is the fact that it does not require a bachelor’s degree or any other form of higher education to practice. Instead, preparation for the job consists How has your place of training in baof work addressed sic nursing printhe COVID-19 crisis? ciples, along with What measures have LETTY GAHUMAN hands-on clinical they taken to protect work. For many immigrant workers — like their workers and their residents? Letty — who are looking to ﬁnd a way to make a living as fast as possible, this is the Before you enter the facility, you have your most feasible and sometimes only option for temperature taken. We have protocols to survival. wear masks at all times, practice social distancing, and always wash our hands before The duties of CNAs are not glamorous by any and after taking care of patients. The pameans. They include bathing and dressing tients are also wearing masks. Patients’ recpatients, serving meals, cleaning and sanreational activities have also been stopped. itizing patient areas, and providing/emptyBefore, the residents would eat dinner toing bedpans, among other tasks. CNAs are gether, but now, they eat in their rooms. If also one of the least paid positions in nurspatients have a fever, we isolate them right ing facilities, with their median annual salaway from the others. We check if they ary being about $25,000. That’s about $15 have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. an hour, and almost a third of what RegisThe workers — the Restorative Nurse Astered Nurses make. Yet, despite these less sistants (RNAs) and CNAs — also follow the than ideal working conditions — where they same procedures. barely make minimum wage — these Filipi-
How have the residents reacted to these procedures? Are they being cooperative? Some of them, especially the older residents who are used to their families visiting, have become depressed because no one is allowed to visit. We allow them to Facetime family members, so they can at least see and hear them. They speak on the phone. That’s all we can do. The nurses try to lighten the mood as much as possible. We try to explain that visitation is not possible right now. Some understand, but others who have dementia have a harder time. The next day, they forget what you explained and get upset and cry because they feel like they’re being neglected by their families. We try our best to comfort them. Has your work aﬀected your personal life? If so, how? I’m not too concerned because my daughter also works here. At the house we’re okay as long as we’re extra careful about our work. There are patients that are always yelling at us, even though we do everything that we can to take care of them. For me, it is stressful, but I tell myself that this is my job and I just need to do it. Sometimes, I get high blood pressure from the stress. There are patients that accuse you of stealing their stuﬀ; there are many instances of this. Some patients also take advantage of our kindness. I am working on managing this. I try not to take it too personally, even if what they say really hurts sometimes. I talk to my supervisors and take some time to step away from the situation if it gets too stressful. Financially, this job helps a lot because I earn more than I did before as a housekeeper. Especially if I take on double shifts! With what I earn, I can help my mom, my siblings, and my other relatives in the Philippines. I am also able to help around the house and even save some money. Everyday at work is stressful, but I pray everyday and ask for guidance from the Lord. My friends also tell me not to worry or stress too much about it because it aﬀects my physical health. There is a robust history of Filipino healthcare workers, dating all the way back to the 1920s, going abroad to work in the United States specifically. This pattern of overseas Filipino migrant workers who maintain a transnational relationship with their family in the Philippines has persisted even today. Why do you think so many Filipinos go into healthcare ﬁelds abroad, instead of in the Philippines? Easy answer! Because, here, you can make more
money than if you were to work in the Philippines. It’s really only the people that can’t leave their families that prefer to stay in the Philippines to work. Others who can and are able to move without their families prefer to work abroad because it’s easier and faster for them to make money. I see my youngest child there, working everyday, and it’s still not enough to sustain her family.
Hannah Chua: Bagong Bayani or “New Hero” is a term that the Philipine government has co-opted to refer to “outstanding” and “exemplary” Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). This term was created to celebrate the contributions of OFWs to the national Philippine economy. However, some people argue that this term only romanticizes the experiences of OFWs, and minimizes the hardships and sacriﬁces they endure as a result of working abroad. When I immigrated here from the Philippines at 8 years old, my mom’s ﬁrst job was as a CNA. She was a nurse in the Philippines, but her credentials were not recognized here in the United States. At that time, it was virtually impossible for her to pursue a nursing license. She couldn’t afford the steep Board Exam fees nor the time to study. She had to provide for me and my two brothers who were left in the Philippines. My mom had no choice but to work. It took my mom 10 years before she could ﬁnally take the exam and gain her nursing license in America. It took 10 years of grueling work to see both of my brothers graduate with college degrees, to see me through high school and go on into my ﬁrst year of college, and to ﬁnally gain enough of a solid footing to focus on herself. In those 10 years, it was her job as a CNA that kept our family aﬂoat. Filipina nurses often get praised for being caring, nurturing, and compassionate — it is because of these inherent qualities that there are so many Filipina nurses and healthcare workers in the U.S. But, while these sentiments may hold some truth, they should not cloud the harsh reality of their circumstances; the fact that these circumstances were often born out of necessity — out of desperation — rather than choice. Letty’s story reﬂects the lives of many Filipina healthcare workers today. It is a story rifed with hardship, sacriﬁce, and loneliness. But, it is also one of genuine community, ﬂeeting moments of happiness, and family.
By Laic Beugre
COMFORT & CODE
Historically, technology brings comfort. It increases access to resources and increases comfort by creating new services to satisfy demands. Technology and migration are two concepts that overlap, with technology affecting the migrations of those who work (e.g. leaving a city because you lost your job to a machine). But it has also created a new social identity –– the digital nomad. Jonas Onland is a digital nomad specializing in digital innovation for cities. He works passionately, advising institutions on creating better systems to allow citizens access to services their cities offer. His interview addressed topics on Estonia, globalization, work, and migration. Onland also had experience working with Estonia’s E-residency program. The e-residency program is a visa that allows digital nomads to “set up shop” in Estonia. Digital nomads can create businesses and operate those businesses with the same rights as Esontinan citizens. If you google Estonia’s e-residency program, the title of the URL reads: “What is E-residency? How to start your EU company online.” If you’re motivated to click on the link, the page loads you to their dashboard with huge letters claiming “Run your business without borders as an e-resident of Estonia!” Estonia is a country located by the Gulf of Finland bordered by Latvia and Russia. The official languages are Esotonian and Russian. Estonia was a country in strife during its conception after being freed
from the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1992, the Esotnian government had their first independent election –– a long needed peace during a time of unrest and public mistrust in the government. In an article by Serge Schecheman regarding the state of Estonina in 1992, he said, “Estonia’s drive for independence was fueled by the national idea. Every Estonian politician drew on feelings of threatened and injured nationhood.” Moreover, the condition that Estonia was in when it gained independence lacked the resources necessary to support its citizens which contributed to civil unrest.
“When the country was freed from Russia in 1991, the public's trust was really low. In 2014, the Estonian government started offering access to digital services. The transparency, ease of use, and reliability resulted in trust from the public.”
ESTONIA: JULIUS JANSSON ON UNSPLASH
Estonia utilized technology and married a public and private perspective to build an e-government. The Estonian government uses technology to digitize some of its most important services so all citizens have access to them.
“98% of all government services in Estonia are digital. -Jonas Onland
By creating digital signatures for each of its citizens, Estonian folks use the identifiers for banking, insurance companies, and government services. Estonians can vote online or complete their taxes in 10 minutes. The key to Estonia’s success was that they made being a citizen easy, by making the governmental resources simple and easy to do. Estonia has become a country that measured its success by the comfortability of its citizens.
“As information technology restructures the work situation, it abstracts thought from action.” -Shoshana Zuboff
As a philosopher, I love thought experiments. An informational civilization exhibits the means people have to live and work to produce information. Sam is a digital nomad who conducts business and works solely using the internet. She operates her business using various other online companies. Her genetic information is on an application on her phone in case she gets in an accident. When the companies send her app suggestions, she clicks on them. She has her location and even her cookies set on. If anyone wanted to access her information, they only need the company's permission or her computer. Comparatively, Diane, a farmer, rarely uses her information on the internet. If someone wanted her information, they would need to access paper records and maybe some internet records. As a digital nomad, is Sam’s autonomy comprised in a way that Diane’s isn’t? Digital nomads are an increasing class as the world crosses into an informational civilization. While Sam might have privacy different than Diane, I argue that Diane has just as much agency as Sam and possibly even more. While Diane may not hold all of her data, that is only a reason for why she ought to fight for more of it. Technology serves as comfortability. I see no reason why Diane or any person in an infor-
ESTONIA: JULIUS JANSSON ON UNSPLASH
mational civilization has less agency than Sam has in hers. Technology serves to improve the comparability of its users. Digital nomads are folks who identify as migrants out of necessity rather than coercion, which does not exclude agency. Rather, they seek comfort. These folks grew up watching their parents work nine-to-fives, in efforts to seek comfort. With that said, technology produces the opportunity for a different vision of work and the migrant worker. Autonomy is more complex than possession of information. Rather, digital nomads demonstrate agency in a situation that seems anti-autonomous. Many are Millenials and soon to be Generation-Z folks who enter the professional workforce. We are folks born into the “condition” (internet, digital identification, etc.). Yet, we all use technology and we still have agency. Jonas Onland, like many other digital nomads, is motivated by his “ground projects” –– the projects that are not necessarily what first comes to mind when he first wakes up, but are grounding reasons to move forward. Bernard Williams refers to these types of motivations as “ground projects”, they’re the type of motivations in our lives that make life meaningful for every individual. These projects are subjective, contextual, and meaningful. In an age of information civilization, folks like Onland are rooted by their ground projects, despite the fact that they are determined by social and political norms. Those ground projects are informed by social identity and personal identity, and people still have agency.
AMERICAN Lucio on his Asian American & Latin Name
My mother is Korean, but she is born in Japan. My father is Japanese. They moved to America, met here, and had me... My mom came up with a bunch of different sounds, put them together, and came up with Lucio, something unique. When I was three years old, we took a trip to Mexico. We met a waiter who was Brazilian whose name was Lucio. He told my mom that there are a lot of Lucios in Brazil as well as in Italy. She was pretty disappointed. [Laughter.]
Joanne on being American
Being an American to me is representative of the individual rather than uniformity… Here I was always Korean, but in Hong Kong when they ask me where I’m from and I say ‘America,’ I was American. I wasn’t Korean anymore.
Laic: America as a Story
I see America more as a story that each person tells themselves because it really is a land that was born of an idea. A lot of times, people talk about their stories, how they migrated here. In some ways, they are fabricated in order to tie themselves into American ideals and individualism.
Esmerelda: Made in America
I know the term ‘Mexican American’ is contested in certain circles, but for me, the difference for me is which is the noun and which one is the adjective. So if you were to ask me, ‘What are you,’ I’m an American Mexican. I was born from Mexican parents, I was surrounded by people from Mexico, but I was born in America.
Janette: Not a Melting Pot
I think that there isn’t such a thing as a brand of American. America looks so different and diverse…I once had a teacher say that the ‘melting pot’ is not really correct. In reality, we’re a stew. We’re a mix of culture and places, but we’re all in this one place.
Alex: From Smelly Food to Superfood
The media started to accept the Asian culture. It’s the cool thing now — K-Pop, BTS, Kimchi and Asian YouTubers, who are creating their own content because most media was not recognizing Asian American culture.
Chris: Father’s House
I remember this story my father told me out of bragging rights. He lived in a house made of sheet metal and when the tornado hit, he had to hold it up… I think of my family as the living definition of the American Dream. They came here for better opportunities and are living much better than they did in the Philippines.
Abby: From California and Hawaii
If you become far enough removed from your motherland, you become American. When you realize the difference between the place your grandparents and parents came from and they look at you differently, THAT’s when you’re American. I see ‘America’ as an umbrella term.
HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION ON HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION ON HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION ON HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION ON HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION ON
HUMAN MIND A N D M I G R AT I O N
HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION
EXPLORING, CAPTURING, AND VISUALIZING THE WORLDVIEWS OF MODERN DAY MIGRANTS
>> ONE BILLION PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
A DIGITAL HOME AWAY FROM HOME
One out of 30 persons is an international migrant. By 2050, the UN estimates that environmental issues alone could cause human mobility from anywhere between 25 million and one billion people. In the U.S., nearly 20% of the population will be foreign-born in 2060 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016). Movement of people across the globe has its roots in the very origins of our species — when our ancestors left Africa about 60,000 years ago. We know that many of our recent migrations were indelibly tied to slavery, persecution, poverty, crime, and war. We also know that migration deeply affects the indigenous inhabitants who already live at the “destination” points. Sudden clashes of seemingly different people, cultures, and resource consumption can stir fear and tribalism among groups; foment violence, segregation, or forced assimilations; and introduce new diseases into unprepared populations — think of the current global health crisis. But human migrations can also result in positive, mutually beneficial effects stemming from cultural, intellectual, and genetic exchanges between groups and individuals. The manner in which post-migration integration occurs — how it divides or even splinters society at the destination — often depends on abstract measures, such as tolerance, as well as metrics related to male/female population composition and sexual practices of the mixed society, which leaves a genetic imprint upon subsequent generations.
HMM was created to explore the workings of the mind during human mobility: how migration shifts people’s worldviews through the juxtaposition of voices mediated by the responses of artists and the analysis of scholars. The artists’ contributions are especially essential — art offers humanity a mirror: it reflects, critiques, and opens up avenues for sociocultural growth. The platform’s shared input will present a better understanding of the possibilities that migration brings to communities. A number of studies have already demonstrated the economic value of migrants. “Some 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by first- or second-generation immigrants” (Anderson, 2013) and “Immigrant Nobel Prize winners account for 35% in Chemistry, Medicine, and Physics since 1901” (NFAP, 2019). Migration also has a positive impact on arts and culture: think of artists and activists who have been part of enriching our American lives — Joseph Pulitzer, George Balanchine, Willem de Kooning, John Muir, Hedy Lamarr, I.M. Pei. Author and McArthur Fellowship recipient, Edwidge Danticat quotes Patricia Engel’s It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris: “...the immigrant life is art in its greatest form.” The movement of hundreds of millions of people also impacts their own beliefs and understandings of the world. The better we understand the interplay of minds and views, the more clarity we have of who we are, and who we can be.
LEARN MORE ABOUT IMPACTMANIA: HTTPS://EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/IMPACTMANIA
THE TEAM >> JOANNE MUN |
JOANNE GRADUATED UCSB WITH A DOUBLE MAJOR: PHILOSOPHY AND ART. SHE WAS RECENTLY HIRED AS A DESIGNER IN NYC. JOANNE ASPIRES TO INNOVATIVE EDUCATION ABOUT HUMANITARIAN DISCIPLINES AND WAS DRAWN BY THIS INTERNSHIP'S INTERCONNECTED NATURE.
>> LAIC BEUGRE |
LAIC GRADUATED UCSB WITH A PHILOSOPHY DEGREE AND A CONCENTRATION IN PUBLIC POLICY. HIS RESEARCH FOR THE MAGAZINE INVOLVES TECHNOLOGY’S IMPACT ON HUMAN AGENCY.
>> SAEHEE JONG |
SAEHEE GRADUATED UCSB WITH A BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN GLOBAL STUDIES AND MINORS IN ART HISTORY AND MULTIMEDIA WRITING. SHE HAS BEEN HIRED BY A WEEKLY MAGAZINE IN SANTA BARBARA. SAEHEE ELEVATED THE HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION PROGRAM’S MISSION THROUGH HER PUBLICITY SKILLS AND PERSONAL NARRATIVE AS A MIGRANT HERSELF.
>> NATALIE GOMEZ |
NATALIE IS A THIRD YEAR ENGLISH AND CLASSICS DOUBLE MAJOR STUDENT. SHE HAS A PASSION FOR PRESERVING THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES IN OUR GLOBAL AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES. HER WORK AIMED TO MAKE ACCESSIBLE THE INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCES OF IMMIGRANTS AND SHOWCASE THE POSITIVE CREATIVE OUTPUT THAT RESULT FROM MIGRATION.
>> HANNAH CHUA |
HANNAH IS A THIRD YEAR ART AND ASIAN AMERICAN DOUBLE MAJOR. SHE RESEARCHED THE EXPERIENCES OF OVERSEAS FILIPINO HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND HIGHLIGHTED HOW THE FILIPINO TRANSNATIONAL EXPERIENCES HELPS THEM NAVIGATE THE PROFESSIONAL SPHERE. HANNAH HOPES THIS PROVIDES A PLATFORM TO SHARE THEIR STORIES AND STRUGGLES AS AN UNDERREPRESENTED COMMUNITY.
>> ALEX MOON |
ALEX GRADUATED UCSB WITH A PSYCHOLOGY DEGREE. HE WAS HIRED AT APPLE AND PLANS TO ATTEND LAW SCHOOL IN FALL 2020. AT UCSB, THE EXPOSURE TO MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, CULTURAL DIVISIONS, AND FOOD INSECURITY AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS SPARKED HIS PASSION TO EXPAND THE CAMPUS’ NETWORK TO SUPPORT STUDENTS. ALEX EXPLORES THE MIGRATION OF KOREAN POP CULTURE IN HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION.
>> PAKSY PLACKIS CHENG |
PAKSY CREATED AND LEADS THE AD&A MUSEUM /IMPACTMANIA INTERNSHIP PROGRAM PRODUCING ENTREPRENEURIAL AND INTERDISCIPLINARY LEARNING EXPERIENCES. HER WORK HAS BEEN AWARDED WITH THE U.S. EMBASSY PUBLIC DIPLOMACY GRANT AND CITED IN A NUMBER OF INTERNATIONAL MEDIA OUTLETS, UNIVERSITIES, AND THE UNITED NATIONS. PAKSY INITIATED HUMAN MIND AND MIGRATION TO MAKE RESEARCH MORE ACCESSIBLE AND SOLUTIONS TO SOCIETAL ISSUES MORE VISIBLE.
STUDENT COMMENTS “Human Mind and Migration was one of the most excellent opportunities I could have had as an undergraduate student. The internship program was a great
autonomous, unique, and independent learning experience that is applicable far beyond any lecture or classroom setting. For the doers and the dreamers, this program is for you!”
- Joanne Mun
“impactmania has been a unique,
personalized internship like no other. I felt like a true team player in this program contributing to its mission. This experience has been highly valuable and prepared me to take on the world!”
- Saehee Jong
“I recieved the opportunity to engage with a
diverse group of talented folks and speak with very powerful people. It was an honor to be a part of the project!”
- Laic Beugre
“I could not have predicted how the skills acquired in this program would
prepare me for our post-pandemic world. The nature of the program required that I learn to communicate and collaborate with my teammates virtually, practice self-discipline and goal setting, and quickly adapt to sudden changes. Throughout, I held a significant amount of agency as I was able to develop my research around a migration path that aligned with my personal interests. The professional experience I’ve gained through this internship has been unparalleled. I’ve had the opportunity to make connections and be persistent with people outside of UCSB, write and edit various documents, and learn how to contribute to a product on a tight deadline, such as in our latest endeavor the Digital Nomads Magazine. Overall, my time in the impactmania program has been both meaningful and challenging, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside such great people for something bigger than
all of us.” - Natalie Gomez
“I came into this project later in the year, so I had a lot of catching up to do. It was not easy by any means, but it definitely helped that the team was supportive of each other, and always understanding of everyone’s individual circumstances. Through my participation in this project, I got the chance to cultivate practical skills for the future, as well as share aspects about myself and my community that I am passionate about.”
- Hannah Chua
“For 9 months, I had an opportunity to be part of the UCSB Human Mind and Migration team on a remote basis to research the impact of Korean Pop music in the United States. Through this program, I got to meet and interview my childhood role model, Mr. Sukhee Kang, the former mayor of Irvine and the first Asian American mayor of a major U.S. city. When I met Paksy Plackis-Cheng last September, I was having identity issues and didn’t feel like I belonged in either the Korean nor American community fully. She made me realize that my uniqueness and ability to adapt to both communities was my strength and offered me to do research about Korean culture. Researching under Paksy was more like therapy, not work. As I got to know myself, I learned from many leaders in Korean American community and dedicated work, and got to know amazing co-interns who are making incredible impact in the community. I’m truly happy to be part of one of the most innovative, creative, and impactful programs on campus.”
- Alex Moon -----
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS >> KIM YASUDA, CHAIR ART DEPARTMENT; KEN KOSIK, CO - DIRECTOR NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH INSTITUTE; FABIO RAMBELLI, CHAIR RELIGIOUS STUDIES DEPARTMENT; PROF. ANN TAVES; ELYSE A. GONZALES; PROF. BRUCE ROBERTSON; SILVIA PEREA, ACTING DIRECTOR & THE AD&A MUSEUM STAFF.
SPECIAL THANKS TO >>UCSB TRUSTEE, DUNCAN MELLICHAMP; SUZANNE MELLICHAMP; UCSB TRUSTEE, EVA HALLER; YOEL HALLER; NICOLE KLANFER; MIYOUNG CHUN; JACOB SILVERMAN; MORRISON WU; IZABELL BLUMIN; JODY TURNER; JON DAVIES; BRIAN PLACKIS - CHENG; PAKLEY CHENG; PAOLA FERRARI; VIVIAN SONG; NANDINI MONGIA; GEORGIA MIRANDA; MASHA KEATING; YASH RANGA; LETICIA COBRA LIMA; NICOLE WALLACE; AND UNSPLASH
DUNCAN & SUZANNE MELLICHAMP PHOTO BY UCSB MONIE PHOTOGRAPHY
YOEL & EVA HALLER PHOTO BY IMPACTMANIA
Add your migration story to the HMM program: www.hmm.ucsb.edu. ---->>IMPACTMANIA FEATURES PEOPLE AND PROJECTS THAT DRIVE CULTURAL, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMIC IMPACT. THIS IS TO INSPIRE, INVOLVE, AND CONNECT CURRENT AND NEXT-GENERATION’S IMPACT MAKERS. >>IMPACTMANIA’S PAST INTERVIEWS AND PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN FEATURED IN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA, A NUMBER OF UNIVERSITIES, THE UN, US CONSULATES, AND HAVE BEEN CITED BY HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL, CAMBRIDGE SCHOLARS PUBLISHING, AND DUKE UNIVERSITY PRESS. IMPACTMANIA’S WOMEN OF IMPACT PROGRAM WAS AWARDED THE U.S. EMBASSY PUBLIC DIPLOMACY GRANT (2019).
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