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Video Project Seeks Immigration Stories

Posted by Arts Council of Indianapolis ; Posted on 
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Video Project Seeks Immigration Stories



Your family’s immigration story could be part of an artwork that will be on view at Indianapolis International Airport in the summer of 2020.

The Indianapolis Airport Authority has commissioned a video artwork by artist and Indiana University Southeast Professor, Tiffany Carbonneau, that will display the historical and contemporary routes traveled to Indianapolis by immigrants. The video will be played above the escalators going down to baggage claim from July – January of this year.

Presented as animated lines on maps with all routes reaching Indianapolis simultaneously, and combined with archival film that portrays historical and modern modes of travel, this artwork is meant to blur the boundaries between historical and contemporary human migration and celebrate the diversity of Indianapolis today.  See a similar work created by Carbonneau that is currently on display at the Muhammad Ali International Airport in Louisville, Kentucky, and view more of Carbonneau’s artwork on her website.

The artist is seeking personal or ancestral stories describing the specific routes of migration traveled to reach Indianapolis.  For example, the artist’s great- grandparents immigrated to Chicago from Poland at the turn of the 20th century.  Their route began in a small town in Southern Poland, continued by rail to a city in northern Poland where they boarded a ship that took them to Ellis Island in New York City; from Ellis Island, they traveled by rail to reach Chicago.  A more modern route might include flights, travel by bus or car, or even walking to reach Indianapolis.

If you or your ancestor migrated to settle in Indianapolis, your/their route can be included in the video!  The video would not include images of the immigrants themselves, but may include the last name/surname/family name upon approval from the participant. The artist is seeking to represent the diverse communities that call Indianapolis home, and hopes to include routes that originate from all over the world, so please share this with anyone you think may be interested in participating.

To participate, contact Tiffany Carbonneau by April 24th.  Stories can be shared via email, a phone call, or a video chat with the artist.

Participants should be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Your name or the name of the person who migrated to Indianapolis.
  • The country of origin,  the route traveled to reach Indianapolis, and the mode of travel (flight, rail, car, etc.)  Please be as specific as possible.
  • Whether or not you would like your last name or the last name of your ancestor in the video.  The artist would like to include last names to visually connect the route with a person or family.

QUESTIONS? contact the artist at


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