Has anyone every been to the Museum of Immigration on Ellis Island? I have been twice and bawled my eyes out both times…and I find old immigration documentation incredibly moving, all those stories about new lives, desperation, hope. I mention this because recently found some old immigration papers of a relative (my great great grandfather, i think) who went from Galicia in Spain to Argentina in 1915 in search of work and a better life.
right thumb print
“Certificate of Mr Jose Gomez whose photograph, right thumb print and signature is seen on the back and holds the following identity: Son of Juan and Andrea Vilarmir, born: 28 Dec 1869 in the town of Mesia, province of Coruña, nation Spain, civil state: married, profession: day labourer, read and write: yes, skin colour white, hair: brown, beard: moustache”
It’s interesting to note that he was only 46 when that photo was taken…which gives you an idea of the toughness of life at that time…
Neil Davidson’s international installation, The Thermos Museum makes sporadic appearances around the country (mainly Edinburgh). It has recently been dismantled after a one month residence in Festival Square as part of the Edinburgh (International) Festival. If it reappears near you i recommend you take the tour…
Apparently you can contact the Thermos Museum on something called facebook, anyway, I made a short film about it:
I go to Bishop Azariah school in the nearby city of Vijayawada. They have day kids but also boarders. Some of the kids from the orphanage start off at this school and others go back for further education after school has ended as it also has attached colleges of further education.
The best thing about coming to India year after year is the network of kids and young people you get to know. I was surprised to find quite a lot of my former students from Buddavaram here…
Prasanna, one of my most talented students from the past years (and a thoroughly lovely person), seen above on the right, is here so she shows me around. Prasanna has no parents and grew up in the orphanage along with her 3 other sisters all of whom i know. They are a lovely family and it’s very touching to see how much they care about each other…
girls wait to see the visiting doctor
me getting mobbed during break time!
this is the main hall where the girls sleep at night on mats, it’s cool, clean and airy
prasanna takes me to meet her old primary teacher
a classical dance lesson
the games mistress
a tableau extolling the virtues of physical exercise
Herminda is 76 years old, she has worked physically hard all her life, like anyone who has a bit of land in the Galician countryside, she knows how the land works and she knows how to grow stuff. She is around 4 feet 10 and strong as an ox and says as long as she can, she wants to carry on working.