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Immigration, Displacement and Belonging

Past,  Present,  Re-imagine the Future, 2017

A collaboration by Moises Aragon and Rosa Naday Garmendia

Past, present, re-imagine the future is a durational performative project that is site-specific, features performance, process, social interaction and reflection. A social experiment that addresses current social issues of human communication, belief systems and notions of history. Normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba tend to go in fits and starts, last year Tampa and St. Petersburg were competing for the prospect of a Cuban consulate today the Trump administration expels 15 Cuban diplomats.


This project entertains the possibility of a Cuban consulate in the city of Miami, a city where the largest number of Cubans and their dependents live outside of the island but whose mayor, Tomás Regalado, has said a consulate is not welcomed.  Villa Paula, located in Little Haiti is a historic site, an enchanting building, constructed in 1926, that housed the first Cuban consulate in Miami until 1929.  With its combination of French neo-classical architectural elements, Moorish arches and Spanish tiles, this picturesque house has a distinctive Havana flair. It is one of a handful of homes in South Florida on the register of historic places. Villa Paula has surprisingly survived the trauma of the devastating hurricane of 1926 and later attempts to tear it down.


In this setting and only for a few hours participants were able to actively participate in processing visas and renew passports using mock applications that reflect on their personal ideas and knowledge of Cuba and current US-Cuba relations. They had their portraits drawn and engaged in coloring take away activity sheets in a safe and inviting environment.

Photos curtsey of Nancy Cole and Eddie Arroyo

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