Suspended Step: Europe’s Refugee Crisis Illustrated – Greek Cartoonists Association
Bill and Joan Alfond Commons

31 Greek cartoonists use the power of sketching as a common global language in an attempt to translate the pain, anger, bitterness, hypocrisy, and guilt of the contemporary situation into critical images and also to pay tribute to the solidarity and humanity of ordinary people.

While a lot has been said and written since 2015/2016 when the summer of migration and the movement of refugees managed to break Europe’s fortified borders, many voices have also been silenced. Rising above the suppression, this exhibition has a distinctive way of explaining a different side of the refugee issue in Europe.


Hostile Terrain 94 – US/Mexico Border Migration Exhibit
Foss Dining Hall

The Oak Institute, in partnership with the Office for Civic Engagement, is bringing Hostile Terrain 94 (HT94), which is a participatory art project organized by the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), a non-profit research-art-education-media collective, directed by anthropologist Jason De León. The exhibition is composed of ~3,200 handwritten toe tags that represent migrants who have died trying to cross the Sonoran Desert of Arizona between the mid-1990s and 2019. These tags are geolocated on a wall map of the desert showing the exact locations where remains were found. This installation will simultaneously take place at a large number of institutions, both nationally and globally in 2020.
As a professor, CA, club leader, or voting captain, you can fill out our form to request toe tags for your team of students/residents/club members to fill out.

The exhibit will be installed in the lobby of the Bill and Joan Alfond Commons in October. This exhibit is an incredibly powerful way for students and others in the Colby community to engage with the concept of Borders and Human Rights. If you are interested in volunteering with the installation, please contact us.

Cosponsored by Office of Civic Engagement and the Oak Institute for Human Rights.


Scenes of the US/Mexico Border by Guillermo Arias

Guillermo Arias is a Mexican photojournalist based on Tijuana, México. He is currently working as an independent photojournalist and is a regular contributor for the Agence France Presse (AFP). He has collaborated with publications and organizations such as Politico, CNN, NPR, and the ACLU.
This exhibit is a collection of photos from the U.S. Mexico border areas. It captures the long, grueling journey of Migrant Caravan asylum seekers, who travel for more than a month from Central America through Mexico to the U.S. border. The concept of the Migrant Caravan became notorious after President Trump’s unfounded allegations against it.

This exhibit also features a close up look at the U.S. Mexico border fence. Since the first section was built, the fence has offered a constantly changing identity. It intervenes in the landscape and impacts the communities it passes through. Ultimately, it is altered by the different actors that converge on it.

With President Donald Trump’s ongoing plan to build an “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall” between the US and Mexico, documenting the state of the fence is pertinent.

The exhibit will be displayed in the Diamond Atrium, the Miller Library lobby, and the Pugh Center. Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Pugh Center, Miller Library, and the Oak Institute for Human Rights

November 5

Water and Migration: Farmers’ Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change in the West African Sahel – Isaie Dougnon, Ph.D., Institute for International Humanitarian Affairs, Fordham University\
7:00 pm / Virtual (Registration) 

This talk on water and migration themes is based on a new concept in the field of research on migration and climate change and focuses on the Sahel region in West Africa. The Sahel, a transitional zone between the Sahara desert and the savanna, has been particularly affected by desertification, which has led to unpredictable rainfall and drought. This is also an area of significant out-migration to other parts of Africa and Europe. In Mali, the EU estimates that 2.5 million people have been displaced from their homes because of climate-related insecurity. Considering the movement of Sahelian populations in search of areas with heavier rainfall or irrigation, the overall goal of this talk is to examine the interdependence existing between migration, conflict, and climate change in order to confront the challenges facing rural development in the Sahel.

November 5

Molly Crabapple – Illustrating Our World
Thursday, November 5 / 5:00 pm / Virtual

Molly Crabapple is an artist, writer, and journalist known for sketching the frontlines of Occupy Wall Street before covering, with words and art, Lebanese snipers, labor struggles in Abu Dhabi, Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. border, U.S. prisoners, and Greek refugee camps.
Molly is the author of Brothers of the Gun, an illustrated collaboration with Syrian war journalist Marwan Hisham, which was a New York Times Notable Book and long-listed for the 2018 National Book Award. Her memoir, Drawing Blood, received global praise and attention.
Her animated short film “A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” has been nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding News Analysis: Editorial and Opinion. As an award-winning animator, she has pioneered a new genre of live-illustrated explainer journalism, collaborating with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
Molly gave a lecture on the ties between art and activism, specifically in her work with illustration and her connection with 2020 Oak Fellow, Nasim Lomani.

October 22

Why The Sexual Politics of Meat Matter in 2020 – Carol J. Adams
Virtual (Registration) 

Tuesday, October 22 / 7:00 pm / Since the first edition of The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory was published in 1990, Carol J. Adams has been a foremost figure in the fight for social justice. She is the author of twenty-six books, along with dozens of other publications, which address such diverse topics as vegetarian ecofeminism, domestic violence, homelessness, racism, prayer, vegetarian lifestyle, parenting, and British literature. Adams will be giving a virtual presentation that draws upon images in contemporary popular culture to provide an ecofeminist analysis of the interconnected oppressions of misogyny, white supremacy, and speciesism.

October 22

Virtual screening and discussion with Corrina Gould, Tim Shay & Lilah Akins
Tuesday, October 22 / 7:00 pm / Virtual (Registration) 

This virtual event brings together Indigenous community leaders for a discussion about the reclamation of Indigenous Ohlone and Wabanaki spaces. We will view three short films Beyond Recognition, i am ákʷitən, the medicine tree vessel that carries our relatives, and The Nibezun Project. Q&A discussion follows with Corrina Gould (Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone) of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, Tim Shay (Penobscot) and Lilah Akins (Penobscot) of Nibezun.

Beyond Recognition tells the inspiring story of women creating opportunities and organizing strategies to preserve Native cultures and homelands in a society bent on erasing them. Corrina Gould is the spokesperson for the confederated villages of Lisjan/Ohlone, and co-founder of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, and Indian People Organizing for Change (IPOC).

i am ákʷitən, the medicine tree vessel that carries our relatives is an imaginative exploration of ancestral ties to Wabanaki lands and waters, collectively created by Lilah Akins, Devon Kelley-Yurdin, Emilia Dahlin, Cory Tamler, and Jennie Hahn.
The Nibezun Project provides an introduction to Nibezun, a sacred gathering place of the Wabanaki on the Penobscot River.
Sponsored by the Critical Indigenous Studies Initiative in American Studies, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Center for Arts and Humanities, Oak Institute, Anthropology, Art, Environmental Studies, and History.

October 14

The Undocumented Migration Project
Jason De León
7:00 pm / Virtual

Jason De León is professor of anthropology and Chicana/o studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. De León is also executive director of the Undocumented Migration Project (UMP), a long-term anthropological study of clandestine migration between Latin America and the United States that uses a combination of ethnographic, visual, archaeological, and forensic approaches to understand this violent social process. He has published numerous academic articles and his work with the UMP has been featured in a variety of popular media outlets. De León is also author of the The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail, a culmination of six years of ethnographic, archaeological, and forensic research.

October 6

A Conversation with Naomi Klein
7:00 pm / Virtual (Registration required)

Naomi Klein will be the Fall 2020 keynote speaker for the humanities theme Boundaries and Margins, and will also serve as the 2020 Mellon Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Humanities. Naomi Klein is the inaugural Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University, and an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist, and international and New York Times bestselling author of No Is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need (2017), This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (2014), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and No Logo (2000). In 2018, she published The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes On the Disaster Capitalists donating all royalties to Puerto Rican organization Her 2019 book: On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal became an instant New York Times bestseller and a #1 Canadian bestseller.

This event is free and open to Colby students, faculty, staff, parents, alum, and the broader community.

Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Environmental Humanities, the Lunder Institute for American Art, the Colby Museum of Art, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, and the Environmental Studies program.

September 24

Film Screening: Border South / Frontera Sur
7:00 pm / Miller Lawn

Oak Institute organized a screening of Border South, a film about migration over the U.S./Mexico border. The film focuses on Mexican and U.S. collaboration to crack down on migrants, forcing them into ever more dangerous territory. Every year hundreds of thousands of migrants make their way along the trail running from southern Mexico to the U.S. border.

Anthropologist Jason De León painstakingly collects the trail’s remains, which have their own stories to tell. Fragmented stories from Hondurans crossing through southern Mexico assemble a vivid portrait of the thousands of immigrants who disappear along the trail. Border South reveals the immigrants’ resilience, ingenuity, and humor as it exposes a global migration system that renders human beings invisible in life as well as death.

September 16

“Not Racist or Antiracist: What’s the Difference?
Ibram X. Kendi
7:00 pm / Virtual

Kendi, one of the nation’s leading antiracist voices, was recently named the director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University and serves as the Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for the Advanced Study at Harvard University. He is a National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author, has published more than a dozen academic articles, and delivered Congressional testimony. Kendi is the author of How to Be an Antiracist, a book that was part of the Colby Antiracist Book & Film Club last summer that included more than three hundred Colby students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Center for Small Town Jewish Life, Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs, Lunder Institute for American Art, Colby Museum of Art, Oak Institute for Human Rights, and Pugh Center.