Founded in 1992 at The City College of New York, the Dominican Studies Institute of the City University of New York is the first and only university-based research institute in the United States devoted to the study of people of Dominican descent.
MUJER DOMINICANA EN NY: A Photography Exhibit Honoring Dominican Women IN NY
August 19 - September 30, 2008
The City College of New York, Amsterdam Avenue Plaza
New York, NY
“MUJER,” which means woman in Spanish, stems from a highly acclaimed, similar experiment launched a year ago in the Dominican Republic. The show profiles the lives, struggles and views of 125 Dominican women through poster-size photographs, biographical profiles, audio interviews and videos. It is the largest exhibit of its kind to showcase Dominican women.
The photos bring new visibility to Dominican women who in one way or another, sometimes silently and away from the limelight, have been trailblazers in their country. Over the past four decades, Dominican society has undergone enormous transformation, including the arrival of many women in influential places and posts traditionally occupied by Dominican men.
The exhibit was presented by MercaSID, a food service company headquartered in the Dominican Republic, the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (CUNY DSI) and City College Libraries. The original exhibit, which profiled 100 women from the Dominican Republic, has been augmented with profiles of 25 women living in New York City’s Dominican communities.
In addition, the exhibit was the first to be displayed on the Amsterdam Plaza, which was landscaped and received new outdoor furniture as part of a program to upgrade the City College campus’ physical environment. The location will make the exhibit accessible to passersby and viewable from vehicular traffic.
“Because of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and our location in Upper Manhattan, CCNY has forged strong bonds with the Dominican Republic and New York’s Dominican communities,” said CCNY President Gregory H. Williams. “We are proud to host this groundbreaking exhibition and make it accessible to the entire community by displaying it in the beautifully refurbished public space along Amsterdam Avenue.”
“We believe that in order to understand who Dominicans truly are, you have to examine the lives of those from the island as well as the enormous population that now lives abroad,” said José Miguel Bonetti Guerra, MercaSID’s president. “MercaSID is very proud of this project and is excited to share this photo exhibition with such a respected institution as City College, CUNY and the dedicated members of The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute.”
Project photographer Nicole Sánchez and producer/writer Giovanna Bonnelly visited New York City’s Dominican community in 2007 to select 25 women from New York’s Dominican population of more than 600,000. Sarah Aponte, CUNY DSI librarian, coordinated the local arrangements in collaboration with Anthony Achille, CCNY Assistant Director of Urban and Governmental Affairs and CCNY Chief Librarian Pamela Gillespie.
“The connections between Dominicans abroad and Dominicans in the country of origin are being finally recognized more and more,” said Dr. Ramona Hernández, Director of the CUNY DSI. “We see this effort by a large island-based company like MercaSID as another indication of that recognition.
“In order to understand who Dominicans are, and what they are capable of, you definitely need to widen the scope and include both those in the island and the enormous population that now lives abroad, the largest one residing here in the United States.”
“We are very excited to participate in “MUJER,” showcasing Dominican women,” said Dean Gillespie. “The City College Libraries are a cornerstone of the Upper Manhattan community, and collaborating on this project, literally in our front yard on Amsterdam Avenue, is opening our Library doors to the community to show the achievements of the women of a great people.”
The City College of New York
North Academic Center (NAC), 4/107
160 Convent Avenue at 138th Street
New York, NY 10031
Institute Main Office: 212.650.7496
Archives and Library: 212.650.7170
CUNY DSI is a member since 1998 of
Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR)