(Un)Safe Havens: Searching for Sanctuary

Event Date

Manetti Shrem Museum & SS&H

Opening Reception: Thursday, June 7 at 6-8pm, Manetti Shrem Museum

Projections Mapping Event: Thursday, June 7th between 8:30-10pm at

the Social Sciences and Humanities Building

On JUNE 7th, AHI 401 will present (Un)Safe Havens: Searching for Sanctuary, a two-part exhibit that focuses on the topic of sanctuary. The exhibit will take place on the walls of the Social Sciences and Humanities Building (better known as the Death Star) and the Collections Classroom in the Manetti Shrem Museum.

Sanctuary represents a place of welcome and hope, but also a right to seek refuge. The first part of the exhibit will introduce this concept of sanctuary through a series of projections against the walls of the Death Star. A total of five projections will highlight how sanctuary is both a threshold and code of law, as well as a fluid network of practices with a long and complicated history. Taking advantage of the labyrinthine architecture designed by Antoine Predock— that could metaphorically represent the immigration process—the projections also address how sanctuary can be a place of limbo, offering a sense of false security as well as depriving an individual of moving forward in life.

While the projections at the Death Star highlight how sanctuary comes in many forms, at the Manetti Shrem Museum, the display of protest posters, historical artifacts, photographs, and an extensive timeline of U.S. immigration history invite viewers to take into account the contributions made by those who have sought sanctuary, but who also remain in the shadows, their questions unanswered and problems unsolved. The U.S. has—more often than not—been the perpetrator in creating the need for sanctuary spaces as in its recent policies that separate children from their parents. The exhibition underlines how sanctuary and protest are integral forms of refusal of this state terror, as well as calls for action, to fight for a socially just world. The exhibit also aims to provoke inquiry and inspire viewers to engage the politics of sanctuary and its implications on the lives of individuals, families, and communities. (Un)Safe Havens is ultimately a call to the UC Davis community to care and contribute individual perspectives regarding sanctuary, protest, and politics as well as to contemplate the perspective of those individuals--past and present--who have sought and continue to seek sanctuary in the U.S..

(Un)Safe Havens: Searching for Sanctuary is co-curated by the students of AHI 401 (a course on curatorial methods taught by Professor Susette Min): Cheri Awalt, Noel Albertsen, Louisa Brandt, Gary Calcagno, Yvette Cordova, Margaret Cowitz, Kennedy Field, Avery Morinico, Sierra Kelsey Janik, Sultana Qureshi, Katharine Schultz, Caitlin Schwarz, Jasmine Sempel, Candace Tyrrell, Tracy Williams.

(Un)Safe Havens is made possible, in part with the support of the UC Davis Art History Program, Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA), Drucella Miranda, Leah Theis, Lisa Zdybel, Carlos Jackson, Kevin C. Miller, Rachel Teagle, and the staff at the Manetti Shrem Museum.