How Does Culture Immigrate?

Artists and Scholars Explore the Ways Their Work Helps Them Understand Homeland

Home can be physical or imagined—a point of departure and return but also a memory or feeling. When migrants and immigrants move across borders, they bring along the places they leave behind through language, art forms, religion, food, and culture. How does that movement shape them, and the places they depart and arrive? And how do they navigate the burdens of supposedly representing an entire culture, nation, ethnicity?

These were the guiding questions posed to a panel of cultural practitioners at last night’s Zócalo/Soraya event, “How Do Homelands Cross Borders?” Presented …

What Does It Mean to Be a ‘Local’ in Hawai‘i?

A Honolulu-Born Mainlander Reflects on How Demographic and Economic Change Are Making an Idealized Aloha State Identity Obsolete

The story of the modern Hawai‘i diaspora is a paradox: Many of us who grew up in Hawai‘i in the second half of the 20th century developed a powerful sense …

How Venezuela’s Oil Riches Fueled a Literary Explosion

In the Mid-20th Century, Writers Seized on the Conflicts Laid Bare by Petroleum's Power to Reshape Society

On December 14, 1922, a gusher of petroleum was discovered in Zulia, a rural area of western Venezuela. For nine days the oil showered onto the surrounding farmland, scaring the …

Hurricane Maria ‘Lifted the Veil’ on Puerto Rico’s Broken System

The Island Must Confront Past Mismanagement, or Face Outsize Future Disasters

On September 20, 2017, when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, the media, government officials, and the American public were in awe when the island lost electricity and went dark. More …

How the Cold War Fused Exile and American Identity

In California's Orange County, Vietnamese Refugees Rewrote a Tragic Defeat by Finding a Home in the U.S.

Thirty years ago, the small city of Westminster, California, held a grand yet understated indoor ceremony at the Asian Garden Mall to unveil the Little Saigon freeway sign. Governor George …