Brooklyn Bridge,
2012
Video installation, 1 screen 3×4,5 m, 3 monitors with headphones

Before traveling to NYC in May 2009, the artists asked friends in their hometown Bishkek to find people who had immigrate from Kyrgyzstan to the USA in order to interview them about their experiences. The artists have begun a series of explorations looking at this experience, because of a sharp increase of illegal immigration from Kyrgyzstan to the West and the impact of this on most families from the region.

The protagonists of our two videos are a woman and a man from Central Asian republics who immigrated to New York City after 9/11. She is from Uzbekistan and he is from Kyrgyzstan, both of them speak Russian because of their Soviet background. The tell two personal stories: one is very expressive and emotional and the other is laconic and lyrical. Both are very typical for illegal immigrants all over the World. Neither is able to use their professional skills and knowledge in the US: she used to be medical doctor at home and he used to play the flute in a folklore ensemble.

Moreover, they have no possibility to return home and see their families until they secure a legal status. This usually takes about 7-12 years. Working in construction building and hospitality service they constantly transfer money home in order to provide an education for their children and feed their family.

In addition, the isolation for such a long time from their family and country transforms their relationship with their past. Most immigrants never really integrate into their new society, being always in the “bridge” between past and future they often doubt about returning home, where they anticipate a new shock due to their illusions about what they will find if they do.

Gulnara Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev: Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge (still)

Brooklyn Bridge (still), 2012

No U Turn

No U Turn, 2010

Money Transfer

Money Transfer, 2010

King Street

King Street, 2010

Eldorado

Eldorado, 2010


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