Retracing Our Steps: An Interview with Jackie Amézquita

Jackie Amézquita is an artist and activist originally from Quetzaltenango, a city in Guatemala’s western highlands. In 2003, at only seventeen years old, she left her hometown, driven by the yearning to be reunited with her mother who had migrated to the United States in need to cover her son’s expensive medical treatment. Amézquita traveled by foot, bus, and car. She arrived in the U.S. undocumented after her second attempt to cross the border, not without experiencing many of the dangers and common threats that immigrants, particularly women, have to…

Borderless: A conversation with Mara Ahmed, Part 2

On May 11, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, I received Mara Ahmed’s email with her responses to our conversation. At the time, some media outlets were starting to give attention to the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old African-American man fatally shot while jogging in Glynn County, Georgia. Since then, we’ve seen George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and learned about Breonna Taylor’s tragic death in Louisville, Kentucky, among many other cases of violence against black people in this country. As a team, Instruments of Memory has joined…

Borderless: A conversation with Mara Ahmed, Part 1

In August 1947, the Indian subcontinent was divided into two independent nation-states: Hindu majority-India and Muslim majority-Pakistan. The Partition was one of the largest recorded migrations of the 20th century. It forced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs to journey hundreds of miles, resulting in the displacement of approximately 20 million people and an estimate of more than one million killed. This was a pivotal moment for thousands of families and their generations to come. Their stories were defined by the legacy of this violent separation. One of these stories belongs to…