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Photo by Karl Rabe

Exhibitions are a wonderful way for students to engage in research while bridging the social sciences and liberal arts. Below are a number of examples of previous exhibitions concerning Migration and Displacement Studies at Vassar. Learn about additional events and art exhibitions. If students or interested faculty have additional ideas for exhibitions or events, please email

El Sueño Americano/The American Dream (April 2020)

In Spring 2020, the Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement, and Education, along with Vassar students and Rick Jones (Vassar College), organized a series of events to take place in connection with the Loeb Gallery’s exhibition of retablos titled Miracles on the Border. The events were designed to highlight the trauma of forced migration and the loss of home as well as the expressions of individual and collective resilience in response. Planned vents included photography exhibitions by Tom Kiefler (El Sueño Americano/The American Dream, portraits of objects seized from detained migrants near the U.S.-Mexico border), Jim Lommasson (What We Carried: Fragments from the Cradle of Civilization, photographs of items that Iraqi and Syrian refugees considered significant in their journeys to America), and Justin Hamel (Uncaged Art, photographs of artwork by children detained at Tornillo Detention Camp in Texas), a lecture by 2019 MacArthur Fellow Valeria Luiselli, and a Vassar faculty panel on gratitude, resilience, and activism. With the exception of Miracles on the Border, all events were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walls, Borders, Fences (November 2019)

Walls, Borders, Fences was a series of exhibitions and events at Vassar in the fall of 2019. The series interrogated the building and tearing down of border walls over time. It included Know Your History and Geography: Leonard Freed’s Photographs of the Berlin Wall (1961–1989), an exhibition of Leonard Freed’s photographs curated by Paul Farber (Monument Lab), and Know Your History and Geography: Students, Artists, and Activists Narrate the U.S.-Mexico Border, a community-engaged exploration of the U.S.-Mexico border wall co-curated by Vassar curator Rick Jones and student Ava McElhone Yates ’21. More information here.

Markazi: A Camp at Crossroads (May 2019)

Markazi: A Camp at Crossroads is an exhibition that was held at Vassar during the 2019 Teaching Lab for the Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement, and Education. It features photographs of Markazi refugee camp in Djibouti taken by French-Algerian photographer Nadia Benchallal. Read more about this project.