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Resistance through Song: Tunnel Mobile Karaoke with Jevijoe Vitug

 

As a Create Change Artist-in-Residence in 2019, Jevijoe Vitug created Tunnel Mobile Karaoke, a project to celebrate and honor the often unseen, unnoticed labor of immigrants of color in the United States through a series of karaoke-style musical events performed in tunnel underpasses in East Harlem. Tunnel Mobile Karaoke activated tunnels as sanctuary-like spaces for immigrants of color by encouraging participants to sing songs in their mother tongue. As lyrics were projected against tunnel walls, songs activated the space of the underpass. Both performer and passersby took part in a collective celebration of joy amidst and in spite of the reality of day-to-day hardships and city life struggles. Tunnel Mobile Karaoke became a celebration of resistance—the sharing of song with others is a radical act of love, creating a space of comfort in the interstitial space between public and private.

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