In the early 2000s, my mother’s travel documents as well as that of my own were stolen from her by her
husband to prevent her re-entry into the United States. This anchored us in our home country of Trinidad
and Tobago where I was subsequently raised at my grandmother’s home until coming of age to apply for
a new passport on my own.
Artifact #1: Tiger Balm deals with the many facets of identity, nationality and immigration that are rooted
within the relationships of Trinidad and Tobago, the US and the colonial history of Europe. In my current
attempt to gain my mother’s green card on her behalf, I am confronted with a performance of selfhood.
The video shown in the mirror depicts myself and my mother. In certain areas, both of these people have
been erased by replacing their faces and bodies with noise, reflecting the metaphorical state of visibility
and invisibility often inhabited by immigrant people. In the case of my mother, it reflects her visibility as
a once legal immigrant who became invisible due to forces outside of her immediate control, i.e, her
husband and the state. The ‘glitch’ which is defined as a sudden, usually temporary malfunction or
irregularity of equipment - has also been used in some parts of the video as a means of speaking to the
malfunctioning of the immigration system in the US and also to the unwanted and irregular nature of the