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Wednesday, August 04, 2021
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Immigrants share their stories at UB Arts Collaboratory’s new space

Victoria-Idongesit Udondian expresses the frustrations and experiences of immigrants through “Àdápé”

Victoria-Idongesit Udondian, a 2020-21 UB Center for Diversity Innovation distinguished visiting scholar, launched the collaborative project “Adápé” on Feb. 27.
Victoria-Idongesit Udondian, a 2020-21 UB Center for Diversity Innovation distinguished visiting scholar, launched the collaborative project “Adápé” on Feb. 27.

When Victoria-Idongesit Udondian was applying for U.S. citizenship in 2016, she found herself becoming “frustrated” by the bureaucratic process.

Instead of taking her anger out on others, she found her voice in art. Today, her art project is the first installment in the UB Arts Collaboratory’s new downtown venue, “The Space Between.”

Udondian, a 2020-21 UB Center for Diversity Innovation distinguished visiting scholar, launched the collaborative project “Adápé” on Feb. 27. The project will be open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from 12-4 p.m., with free admission.

Adápé is not yet complete, and that’s exactly the point: the Arts Collaboratory intends to show audiences projects while they are being created. Udondian says she is inviting immigrants and first generation Americans to come to the space, share their stories and mold their hands into sculptures.

“With the vilification of immigrants going on in society today coupled with the pandemic that is also adding a different twist to the challenges and experiences of immigrants, I think it’s important to create a platform where we can all feel safe enough to talk about our experiences,” Udondian said. “And, also it’s important to create a platform where we can highlight the strengths and contributions of immigrants to the American social and cultural thread.”

Udondian, originally from Nigeria, initially channeled this frustration into her current multimedia installation/performance project, “The Republic of Unknown Territory.” This project has morphed into “Àdápé.”

The UB Arts Collaboratory was created in 2017 by Robin Schulze, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, in an attempt to create spaces where local artists can connect and collaborate. The organization not only runs in-person events; it also hosts virtual installations on  its website.

“The Space Between,” a new venue situated between the East and West sides of Buffalo, is located at 431 Ellicott Street.

“Àdápé” will remain open until March 28.

Anastasia Wilds is the senior arts editor and can be reached at anastasia.wilds@ubspectrum.com and on Twitter @AnastasiaWilds

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ANASTASIA WILDS

Anastasia Wilds is the senior arts editor. She has been writing for newspapers since her junior year of high school, and she has appreciated all forms of art for even longer. When she’s not writing, she is either reading, listening to music, hanging out with her friends on discord or streaming on Twitch.

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