Through photographs, moving graphics, and music, viewers have an opportunity to trace the journey of a family during the catastrophic events of displacement on a path to sanctuary.

The Project: Sanctuary & Sustenance
Through photographs, moving graphics, and music, viewers have an opportunity to trace the journey of a family during the catastrophic events of displacement, on a path to sanctuary, and through the long process of rebuilding life in a new community. Sanctuary & Sustenance aims to raise the public consciousness of these issues to a wide variety of people, and spark conversations about our collective responsibility to welcome refugees and encourage policy makers to act in favor of fundamental human rights for refugees and asylum seekers.

Client: ART WORKS Projects

Produced by: ART WORKS Projects
Editor: Maren Wickwire
Video and Graphic by: Maren Wickwire
Directed by Leslie Thomas and Maren Wickwire
Music by Osvaldo Golijov
Lee Maddeford and Roland Vouilloz
Jonathan Wiest

We are grateful for the support provided by:
The Frankel Family Foundation

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The audio-visual installation mediates fragmented life experiences of migrants, propagating new interpretations and perspectives on the global movement of people through the lens of Cyprus.

The audio-visual installation mediates fragmented life experiences of migrants, propagating new interpretations and perspectives on the global movement of people through the lens of Cyprus. Despite restrictive asylum and integration policies, maltreatment and deportation, Cyprus remains for many individuals the first stepping-stone to reach European soil. 

This journey is a play with fate. In hope of escaping the cycle of poverty and hardship, individuals negotiate their existence between work visas, pending asylum cases and intermarriage. Whilst separated from family members, the desire for freedom, safety, and self determination proves resilient. Overcoming barriers through the connectedness of social media and mobile technology, the imagination of future possibilities seen and unseen is without end.

I am very lucky because this couple I am working for, they’re very good and they pay me well, comparing to the other girls. I hope that everyone is experiencing that kind of respect
but I don’t think so - I am lucky.
— Laila, Domestic Helper

Please contact us for partnership opportunities and if you like to host the exhibition in your community, school or outreach event.


Exhibition:  Island In The Sun
Video and Photography by Maren Wickwire
Text by Melissa Hekkers

Past Exhibitions:
Goethe-Institut Nicosia, Exhibition Hall
10 – 18 November 2016

Restart Europe | Cyprus Youth Council
23 – 24 of May 2017

Cultural Centre Mills in Kaimakl, Nicosia
April 2017 | Nicosia




While 2008 made us aware of the housing crisis, with the improvements in the economy the assumption is that the crisis is over. The reality is, people are still challenging loss of home. Watch the short films we produced for the exhibition.

Watch the House of Cards:rebuilding trailer.

House of Cards: Rebuilding is the first presentation of a work-in-progress exhibition featuring the personal stories of community members who have struggled to save their homes. The narratives included confront loss of home through eviction, foreclosure, forced displacement and other threats to our human right to housing. Through photographs, short films, and research, this new work allows us to learn how our neighbors are dealing with these issues and meet the organizations they are working with to confront this challenge. House of Cards: Rebuilding Chicago’s exhibition was generously supported in part by the Pierce Family Foundation and Peter Kupferberg. Presented in partnership with the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Commissioned and produced by Art Works Projects
Directed, cinematography and editing: Maren Wickwire
Interviews: Roberta Feldman
Photographs : Jon Lowenstein

Watch the Series of 8 short films:

Teresa and her family moved into a newly painted rental house in a neighborhood that provided her grandchildren with safety and good schools. When the winter began, the furnace and sump pump failed, the water pipes broke, and mold and structural damage appeared. Her landlord, angry that Teresa used her rent money for the repairs, issued an eviction notice. The Lawyer’s Committee for Better Housing represented Teresa in court. While it was declared that she did not owe back rent, she was given 60 days to vacate her home and was forced to leave. After living with her sister, Teresa and her family found a new home.

Eddie & Granddaughter Teica Financial challenges interrupted Eddie’s college education. She and her children were doubled up with family members and faced a range of personal problems. After many difficult years, her mother’s death prompted Eddie to reach out to HOW for supportive services and housing assistance. She subsequently earned her bachelors degree in healthcare administration and is now beginning to search for employment.

Jackie - Jackie could not work because of her serious illnesses, and her husband lost his job because he was frequently forced to take time off in order to care for the family. When their money ran out, the couple had to split up and live with separate relatives. In time, Jackie and her oldest daughter were living on the street. Eventually her in-laws provided them with a single room, which the entire family shared for several years. Jackie recently began working with La Casa Norte to secure an apartment for her family.

When Phyllis was forced to take a lower-paying job after working 32 years as a respiratory therapist, her home, bought with an inheritance from her husband, went into foreclosure. Through a radio advertisement, she found a lawyer who did little more than take her fees, and she was left with no options other than declaring bankruptcy. However, by working with the Northwest Side Housing Center, she was able to arrange for a mortgage modification.

Hilda and Carlos lost their jobs in 2008. Since then, available work opportunities have paid considerably less than their previous salaries, making it impossible for them to meet their original mortgage payments. They applied for a modification, but their application was denied a year later. They became deeply involved with the Northwest Side Housing Center, and after two years were able to secure a mortgage modification and stay in their home.

Nancy and Ernie, both long-established working actors, lost nearly all of their sources of employment beginning in 2007. They continued to pay their mortgage with savings for some time, and later credit cards. When they applied for a mortgage modification they were denied. Ultimately, after declaring bankruptcy and working with the Northwest Side Housing Center for over a year, they were able to secure the modification and stay in their home. 

Mrs. Williams was the victim of a reverse mortgage scam that promised free home improvements. Like many seniors who become confused about how to pay their home insurance, Mrs. Williams found herself in foreclosure. Reverend Hood, her nephew, is helping her fight the scam and raising local and national awareness of the extent of this outrage.

Matthew lived in an apartment in a building that went into foreclosure. Though he followed the process required to receive a new lease or monies to move, he received a ninety-day eviction notice. The Lawyer’s Committee for Better Housing negotiated a new lease for him and his fiancée Jasmine.