Nina Rocket

v i s u a l i z i n g   i m m i g r a n t   P h o e n i x


I am a student at ASU majoring in Psychology with a minor in Sociocultural Anthropology. I have always had an appreciation for the cultural kaleidoscope that exists in the United States. As a mother and PTO President of a Phoenix high school, I find it very important that current and future generations learn about the positive impact that immigrants have in our communities. We are fortunate to live in a diverse city enriched by a variety of cultures. What I love about this project is the opportunity to get to know individuals on a personal basis and share their stories; reminding us that culture does not exist as a stand-alone abstract concept, but is realized because of the people who pass it down through generations and share with their communities.

VIDEO: Mr. Sweets: A Lebanese Bakery in Phoenix

Nina Rocket 2018


Video created for Displacements, a virtual conference sponsored by the Society for Cultural Anthropology & the Society for Visual Anthropology. April 19-21, 2018. (2:30) (MORE videos)


In Phoenix neighborhoods where white America predominates, look closely and the presence and influence of migrants emerges. This project walks us through a Lebanese bakery in north Phoenix. The owner was displaced from Lebanon with his family during the 1970s Lebanese Civil War. His success in America is explored with visually delicious images of his hand-crafted Middle Eastern pastries that bring sweet flavors to the community. Many displaced migrants are forced to make new lives in unfamiliar cities like Phoenix. Retaining their culture is an important part of their identity; sharing it is a gift to their new homeland.

Mr. Sweets: A Lebanese Bakery in Phoenix

Kunafa cheese pastry sweetened with honey and rosewater syrup, baklava with ashta and pistachio—these delectable Lebanese pastries can be found at Mr. Sweets bakery in north Phoenix. The Shatila family was displaced to the US from their homeland during the Lebanese Civil War. Michael Shatila enriches our local palate with global culture and cuisine.

From Kenya with Love:

Ceiphers Brings Fashion and Philanthropy to Phoenix

Kenya-born entrepreneur Ceiphers Olweya brings “African Inspired, American Made” fashion to Phoenix. The dazzling patterns of East African Kitenge fabric brings pizzaz to everyday clothing, and Ceiphers’ philanthropy reaches causes in both his global homeland and our local community.

Global Religions: A Sikh Temple in Glendale

The architectural wonder you've seen from the 101 at 51st Ave is a Sikh Temple, one of the many local outcropping of global religions practiced in metro Phoenix. Learn about the temple, the Sikh religion, and some of the migrant community, mostly from India, who worship there.

Taqueria el Guerrerense & McDowell Road Murals

By Nina Rocket and Sanhareb Nano

Visit a local migrant-run , multi-tasker restaurant and Xochipala-style bakery from the state of Guererro, Mexico. It also offers income tax help and other services to the Mexican immigrant community. Vibrant murals enliven the cityscape and educate viewers about crossborder events and culture.