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How Do Homelands Cross Borders?


To leave your birthplace behind and make a home elsewhere is to cross any number of boundaries—national and linguistic, religious and spiritual. While loss is an inevitable part of this journey, it’s not just about displacement; it is also a story of cultural change and celebration. Migrants and immigrants find new ways to balance assimilation and tradition—and to create entirely new identities. This reinvention happens at home and out in the world, and cuts across religion, food, and art. Its impact is as personal as it is global. How do people who are separated from their homelands reinvent cultural practices in their new communities? How does cultural identity change across generations and over time?

Ragamala Dance artistic directors, choreographers, and principal dancers Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, writer and Science Fiction Poetry Association president Bryan Thao Worra, and USC Institute of Armenian Studies director Shushan Karapetian visit Zócalo to discuss how they are reimagining what home means.

Zócalo invites their in-person audience to continue the conversation with the speakers and each other at a post-event reception with complimentary drinks and small bites.

Image credit: Illustration by Joycelyn Cabrera. From left to right: Gustavo Arellano, Ranee Ramaswamy, Aparna Ramaswamy, Shushan Karapetian, and Bryan Thao Worra.