Picture of an Angel Island exhibit at de Young Museum, poster for the Within These Walls performance, and an old black and white image of Angel Island
Spring 2023

In 2022-2023, UC Berkeley’s Arts + Design Initiative and Future Histories Lab will sponsor a series of music and dance performances, exhibitions, public conversations, and courses using Angel Island’s historic immigration station as a jumping-off point for discussion about race in America, global migration, and architectures of incarceration. We’ll use the arts, design, and historical and landscape interpretation to understand current events and envision better futures.

A Year on Angel Island: Landscapes of Migration, Incarceration and Resistance

Join us for a lively series of talks, performances, and events by artists, performers, scholars, and activists exploring themes of global and US migration, exclusion, and belonging. We use the historic Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay as a jumping-off point and consider landscapes from China to Australia to Mexico as sites of memory and meaning. Angel Island has sometimes been called the “Ellis Island of the West,” but it was a place of exclusion and incarceration for many migrants, as well as an entry point to the United States for half a million newcomers from eighty countries, mostly from Asia. 

This series is part of a program of music and dance performances, exhibitions, public conversations, and courses called A Year on Angel Island. Speakers and artists include Genny Lim, Flo Oy Wong, and Nellie Wong of The Last Hoisan Poets; Erika Lee, Bae Family Professor of History at Harvard University; Nayan Shah, Professor of American Studies & Ethnic and History at University of Southern California; Lenora Lee Dance and Berkeley Dance Project; and many more.

A complete list of speakers, as well as associated performances and exhibitions, will be posted at futurehistories.berkeley.edu/angel-island/.


A Year on Angel Island is organized by Future Histories Lab and the Arts + Design Initiative. UC Berkeley departmental cosponsors include the Departments of Music; Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies; Ethnic Studies; and American Studies. Campus partners include the Arts Research Center, the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative, On the Same Page, Othering and Belonging Institute, Center for Race & Gender, Worth Ryder Gallery, and BAMPFA. Our community partner is the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation.

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