Tunnel Mobile Karaoke celebrated and honored the unseen and 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. 2019 Artist-in-Residence Jevijoe Vitug 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.
I always say [Tunnel Mobile Karaoke] is like comfort food…it’s a space of reminiscing…it’s about finding your comfort song. When you sing, you are connected to a memory.
Jevijoe Vitug2019 Create Change Artist-in-Residence
Participating Harlem Residents and Immigrants of color include: Maura Falfan (Mexico), Maria Lucia Varona (Puerto Rico), Beto Resende (Puerto Rico), Eteri Luna (Cuba), Hana Mire (Somali), Sindhu Thirumalaisamy (India), Julio Jose Austria (Philippines)