The exhibition Harvest of Joy is a culmination of photos captured through the lens’ of Tennessee’s migratory students who participate in Conexión Américas’ Migrant Education Program. These images narrate the stories of the children of agricultural workers whose lives are transient. Their families move between towns and states as they pick the seasonal harvest of tomatoes, strawberries, peppers and other crops we eat.
The lives of Tennessee’s migratory children are ones of constant change and high mobility which present daily challenges as students navigate the new schools, language barriers, and new friends that each move brings.
Exhibit opening and reception is November 1, 2019 at Casa Azafrán. The exhibit is on display in the Casa Azafrán Gallery until January 15, 2020.
The first series of photos of daily life in farm work were taken by Jovani Ivan Rodriguez, a participant in the Migrant Education Program and photography intern. Click on each photo for more information.
The following images, as photographed by migratory students across the State of Tennessee, bring to life the celebration of families, nature, hobbies and the places each calls home. Through these images migratory children welcome us into their lives and generously share their harvest of joy and resilience with others.
(click on a photo to see a larger image and read the student’s caption)
The Migrant Education Program (MEP) was established by Congress in 1966 through an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) with the purpose of addressing the unique educational needs of migratory children so that they have full opportunities to meet the same academic standards as all other children. In Tennessee the program, operated by the non-governmental organization, Conexión Américas since 2016, serves more than 1,000 migratory students every year.