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


We created a panel of short digital media projects presented at Displacements, the first-ever biennial virtual conference sponsored by the Society for Cultural Anthropology & the Society for Visual Anthropology. April 19-21.

Visualizing Immigrant Displacements in Phoenix

Kristin Koptiuch 2018

Flying below the radar of planners and public acknowledgement, migrants are busily remaking Phoenix. Globally displaced, 20% of Phoenix is foreign born. Migrants revive stagnant neighborhood economies, bring magical-realist redesign, and add colorful flair to the cityscape’s subdued design palette. Migrant planners-from-below transnationalize Phoenix urbanism with local versions of global religions, cuisines, cultures. Visualizing Immigrant Phoenix, a research collaborative at Arizona State U., explores migrant displacements thru vibrant visualization of immigrants’ urban imprint, embracing their transformative, creative, subversive power.

Que Colores! Tires and Tacos in Phoenix



Sanhareb Nano 2018

Proliferation of taquerias and tire shops reveals the growing Mexican community displaced to metro Phoenix. Taquerias bring the authentic flavor of Mexican food to our city. The maturity of the immigrant community is shown by restaurants offering regional cuisines from specific Mexican states and cities—such as Tacos Tijuana. Mexican-run tire shops or llanteras import another aspect of Mexican culture. Tire shops add dazzling colors to our cityscape by making an artist’s canvas of their exterior walls, like llanteras in Mexico. Migrants play an essential role by launching businesses that bring cultural values and vibrant ideas to Phoenix.

Mr. Sweets: A Lebanese Bakery in Phoenix



Nina Rocket 2018

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.

Mis Manos No Son Mis Manos/These Hands Are Not My Hands

Argenis Hurtado Moreno 2018

This poetic-visual exploration focuses on the movement of humans from one country to another and the resulting outcomes from one generation to the next, through the photographic documentation of migrant hands. The spoken narrative emerges from the author’s reflection of the catalytic action of migration and the remnants of “home” in seemingly ordinary customs such as making tortillas. Using his mixed-citizenship-status family as muse, his ethnographic art encourages experimentation by examining migrant displacement through daily life, memory, and especially, the body.

Pakistani Cricket in Phoenix

Hussein Mohamed 2018

In the Phoenix metropolitan area, there is an underworld subculture of a sport that is hugely overlooked: cricket. Though it is the second most viewed sport in the world, here in United States many people have never heard of it. This video project is a 5-minute documentary that puts into perspective the subculture of cricket, the immigrant base that makes-up the sport in Phoenix, and the challenges they face from the city’s Parks and Recreation facilities management, and various elementary school fields where they play.

Check out the conference trailer



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