“Ellis Island As A Memory Place According To Lewis Hine, Georges Perec And JR.”

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Tekin N.

European Journal of Literature, Language and Linguistics Studies., vol.5, no.4, pp.78-88, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Ellis Island in New York, USA, served as a center accepting the entry of people who immigrated to the United States between 1892 and 1954. Afterwards, it lost its function due to the changing laws, and today a part of the island has turned into a place of visit telling the history of immigration to America. In this article, the functioning of the island when it was active as an immigration reception office, the admission conditions, the approach to immigrants and the importance of the island as a memory place today are discussed in three parts. The first is the Ellis Island immigrant photographs taken by Lewis Hine in the early 1900s; the other is the text of author Georges Perec's memory research on being a migrant during his 1978 visit to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum; Finally, photographer and street artist JR placed photographs of immigrants who entered the island and their families living today in the interiors of Ellis Island in 2014 and interpreted the place and the phenomenon of migration in the context of contemporary art. The importance of Ellis Island, which has turned into a symbol of immigration to America and a place of memory today, has been discussed in related studies.