Migration: Leaving and Seeking Home

04.21.16 @ UMOCA 


Presented in partnership with the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art & the Utah Coalition of La Raza.

With thanks to Even Stevens for dinner!

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Stories curated by and workshopped with Giuliana Serena and Nan Seymour of The Bee.

Portrait by Dallas Graham

Efrén Corado Garcia

An eleven-year-old from Guatemala is smuggled into the United States.

Efrén Corado Garcia, a native of Guatemala has been parts of numerous dance companies before joiing Repertory Dance Theater as a guest dancer and has been with the company full-time since 2013.

He attended Chapman University where he received his BFA, later earning his MFA from the University of Utah and completed his certification as a Laban Movement Analyst from the Integrated Movement Studies program.

Efrén is recipient of numerous awards and grants for his performance, choreography, and media work. Recently his film Writing Love on my Arm was shown at a film festival in Cuba.

His choreography has been performed throughout California and Utah, ranging from high schools, Universities and Ballet Companies.

Portrait by Dallas Graham

Erika Munson

Erika relies on the strengths of her pioneer heritage as she navigates the challenge of being an outsider even amongst those who share her faith.

Erika Munson is a sixth-generation Mormon who grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the sixties and seventies. Early on she was pushed to negotiate her family’s faith tradition amidst the social and political change in the larger community around her.

She received a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Harvard College where she met her husband; together they have raised their five children in the northeast United States and Europe. In 2012 she co-founded Mormons Building Bridges. Now living in Sandy, Utah, she is a high school English teacher, enthusiastic grandmother, reader, and writer.

Portrait by Dallas Graham

Sigifredo Pizaña-Hernandez

Sigifredo immigrates to the U.S. and must find a way through the many trials that follow.

Sigifredo Pizaña-Hernandez was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. Sigi (as he likes to go by) moved to the United States when he was 11 years old and lived in Michigan for decade before coming to Salt Lake City in 2013.

Sigi is an accomplised musician and composer who likes to train for marathons and loves go hike with friends and his Australian shepherd, Macke.

Portrait by Dallas Graham

Brian Higgins

Brian struggles to understand his identity while away from his conflict-ridden home country.

Brian Higgins is a Transmedia Storyteller hailing from Northern Ireland. Incorporating film, stand up comedy, visual arts and events to create community through creative communication.

He is the producer and creator of multiple national film festivals stemming from Salt Lake City, including The 48 Hour Film Project and Filmulate Fest. 

Using aspects of film and creative expression, Higgins is a mental health advocate through Create Reel Change, inspiring and motivating acceptance of mental health issues by making things better to help people.

Portrait by Dallas Graham

Jiriberi Bucanayandi

While growing up in war-torn Burundi, Africa, Jiriberi survives over a decade in refugee camps before migrating to the United States.

Jiriberi Bucanayandi (who also goes by Gilbert Gibbs) is the middle child of a family so large it took us 5 minutes to count up his siblings. Born in Tanzania to Burundian parents, he’s now an interpreter for gardeners at the New Roots Farm in West Valley, and an emerging farmer in his own right, selling his produce at the Sunnyvale Farmer’s Market.

He is a mentor of students, and preparing to grow his own family, rooted in his cultural tradition. A student at Salt Lake Community College, he’ll be entering the University of Utah this fall to study accounting. In his free time he likes to write, and one day hopes to publish a book of short, fictional stories. 

Portrait by Dallas Graham

Masha Sukovic

A teenager seeks normalcy during the 1999 NATO bombings of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, where she was born and raised.

Masha Sukovic is a writer, a university professor (she teaches on issues concerning gender, health, culture, and social justice), a mom, a chef, a singer, a performer, a researcher, and a visual artist.

She is also a neurodivergent person with acute synesthesia, which essentially means that her brain interprets words and narratives as moving images (similar to videos); numbers as colors; tastes as images, shapes, colors and sounds; and so on. For example, she can taste or smell a recipe before actuality making it, simply by reading it or hearing it read out loud, which has greatly enriched her experiences as a chef, a writer, an artist, and a storyteller.