Lizania Cruz: We the News


Lizania Cruz’s We The Newsis presented in partnership with ArtCenter/SouthFlorida, curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah.

In the midst of an era fueled by generalizations and incendiary rhetoric, how do we share immigrants’ stories in a way that is reflective and representative of their complexity and humanity? 

We the News aims to amplify these unique stories via a physical newsstand. Inspired by Stuart Hall's notion of identity grounded in the “re-telling” of our past and experiences, participants are invited to "re-tell" their histories in story circles that explore themes of race, cultural rituals, and personal experiences.

For the first phase of the project, three story circles were organized in collaboration with the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI). The circles took place in a community garden in Bedstuy called Hancock Community Backyard Garden Park, Caribbeing House in Flatbush and the Brooklyn Museum. Eight to ten Black immigrants and first-generation Black Americans participated in each story circle.

Each zine documents individual stories or conversations between the participants. The design utilizes as a point of reference journalist publications. They are produced using a Riso press as well as photocopiers. Both techniques adopted historically by DIY publishing.

The newsstand design carries the zines as well as snack and beverages from the Caribbean and African countries represented in the zines. The design transform from a cube shape into a newsstand display. The newsstand design is a collaboration between architect Michael Yarinsky and Lizania Cruz. It’s intention is to reclaim public spaces on the sidewalk by distributing these stories.

Lizania Cruz (b. 1983) is a participatory artist interested in how migration affects notions of citizenship, identity, and ways of belonging. Cruz explores these themes in concepts that translate to printed matter, objects, and photography. 

Location: We the News is an itinerant activation which will roam throughout the Untitled, Miami Beach fair pavilion and grounds.