"Passports: Lives in Transit" conceives of passports as the ruins of a modern dream now in terminal crisis – the dream of a globalized world.
Drawing on the collections of Harvard Library, the exhibition addresses this major contemporary issue through the lens of passports, visa applications, and other documents associated with noteworthy 19th- and 20th-century travelers, émigrés and refugees, including George Train, Leon Trotsky, Gertrude Neumark Rothschild, and Shirley Graham Du Bois.
Also on view, items of personal significance to a Harvard student telling the story of his late mother's immigration to the U.S. and how this experienced forever marked her life, as well as a multimedia art installation of used passports purchased online. Both further underscore the exhibition’s engagement with current geopolitics and activism.
This exhibit was co-curated by Rodrigo del Rio and Lucas Mertehikian, both doctoral students in Harvard University’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Co-sponsored by Houghton Library and Harvard University’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.