Untitled (Naming the Dead)
2018

A site for commemoration at a vigil for migrant deaths and disappearances in Battery Park, New York. The vigil was organized by Colibri Center for Human Rights and a group of families who have lost loved ones while crossing the border. The ephemeral installation facing directly towards the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island consisted of eight 20 ft banners anchored to the ground with candles with the names of over 5,000 dead and disappeared migrants.

Family members, activists, artists, commuters, students, tourists, and other curious passerbyers walked through the exhibition and joined in on witnessing and reading the names of the dead and disappeared through megaphones.

According to Colibri Center for Human Rights founder Dr. Robin Reineke, by naming the border’s dead, and disappeared, they then can legitimately claim space, and attention, and a part in a publicly important narrative. Evidence is not just produced for the legal courts, but also for the forum of public awareness and discourse. The word evidence, derived from the Latin, videre, to see, means “to make visible.” By naming the dead, human identification is a powerful act of making the dead visible.

Photo documentation by Jess X. Snow
Banner design collaboration with Icy & Sot