about the project.

September 20-28, 2018

Night Watch is a short, silent film by Shimon Attie that brings center stage New York’s refugees and asylum seekers, the city’s newest and most vulnerable inhabitants. Displayed on a 20-foot-wide by 12-foot-tall LED screen mounted aboard a large utility vessel, the high definition minimalist film is comprised of a series of moving portraits of individuals from a wide array of backgrounds and ages, all of whom come gradually into focus from the distance and gaze at the viewer poignantly, quietly, and powerfully.

Developed through research and collaboration with legal aid organizations such as Safe Passage Project and Immigration Equality, as well as community empowerment groups including Queer Detainee Empowerment Project and RIF Asylum Support, Night Watch blends new media technologies with community-based engagement and dialogue, creating a dramatic, resonant and cogent floating media installation.

The route of the traveling installation will begin each late-September evening in Staten Island, and slowly travel up and down the East River and Hudson River along the shores of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and New Jersey, potentially sighted by millions of viewers on the waterfront of the Greater New York City area.

Night Watch is projected on a LED screen mounted on a barge, and is viewable from 5PM to 9PM for eight days starting Thursday, September 20 until Friday, September 28, during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.

View the barge along the Hudson River from 6 to 8 PM on September 20, 22, 24, 25, 26
For the Westside route, the barge arrives at Wagner Park in Battery Park around 6:00 PM and then travels up the west side of Manhattan to Pier 64, turns around and travels back down.

View the barge along the East River from 6 to 8 PM on September 21, 23, 27
For the final night on September 27, the barge is focused around Brooklyn Bridge Park. The barge arrives near the Manhattan Heliport at 6:00 PM, travels up the east side of Manhattan toward Brooklyn Bridge and then crosses to Brooklyn Bridge Park, arriving at Pier 6 around 6:30 PM. It circles around the area until about 7:30 PM, before finally departing toward Red Hook and back to Staten Island.

For the Eastside route, the barge arrives at Brooklyn Bridge Park around 6:00 PM from Red Hook and travels up the Brooklyn shore to Williamsburg, crosses into Manhattan at the East 6th Street Park around 7:30 PM and travels down the Manhattan shore to Battery Park.

* The barge departs Staten Island every day at 5 PM and travels along the Hudson and East Rivers on alternate days before returning to Staten Island. Due to UN week restrictions, the Eastside route may at times be disrupted. 

Download the press release.


Night Watch – Shimon Attie from More Art on Vimeo.

in the press.

Cruising New York’s Waterways This Week: Portraits of Former Refugees New York Times

Refugee Stories Told from a Barge, Timed for UN General Assembly Session Hyperallergic

Who are the people seeking political asylum in the US? The Art Newspaper

Giant Video Portraits of Refugees Are Circling Manhattan for the UN General Assembly This Week—See Them Here Artnet

A New Film Featuring LGBTQ+ Asylum-Seekers Can Soon Be Seen Traveling New York’s Waterways IntoMore

Ronde de nuit Le Quotidien de l’Art

Rostros de la migración navegan en torno a Nueva York TeLoCuentoNews

Public Art That Wowed in 2018 Artwork Archive

53 NYC Outdoor Art Installations Not to Miss in September 2018 Untapped Cities

about the participants.

Alena (Russia); Denise (Trinidad); Edafe (Nigeria); Marlon (Colombia); Marvin (Jamaica); Max (Uzbekistan); Mikaela (Perú); Niurka (Venezuela); Norris; Sergey (Kazakhstan); Tatiana (Russia); Victor (Colombia)

Click the link here to learn more about the participants!

public programs.


Thu, September 20, 2018 6:30-8:30 PM
Wagner Park, Battery Park City | Directions
Night Watch Opening

Join us for the opening of Night Watch, with artist Shimon Attie. More Art has commissioned 2018 EA fellow Manuel Molina Martagon to create a food-based experience with ingredients from the seven countries banned by the Trump administration.


Sat, September 22, 2018 5:00-8:00 PM
Viewing Room at Jack Shainman Gallery (Directions) and Pier 63
In their own words: An evening with LGBTQ refugees
Please RSVP for this event on Eventbrite

Our afternoon will start with readings from Bed 26: A Memoir of an African Man’s Asylum in The United States by project participant Edafe Okporo, and from Deep Inside These Walls by Carey Yee. Following the readings, project partner Immigration Equality will lead an informative conversation with attendees. Then Queer Detainee Empowerment Project will direct a pen-pal letter writing workshop. At 7:15 PM, attendees will walk to Pier 63 for a dance performance by project participant and Alvin Ailey’s dancer, Marvin Drummond, as Night Watch arrives. We will meet at the Viewing Room at Jack Shainman Gallery, 515 W 20th Street, 7th floor


Saturday, September 22, 2018 5:30-7:30 PM
Brook Park, 141 St and Brook Avenue, Bronx (Directions)

Join More Art as we co-sponsor the 31st anniversary party of La Peña at Brook Park in the South Bronx. Catch a different view of Night Watch, projected on the walls of this legendary community-stewarded garden space. The projection will serve as the background for a theatrical performance by ID Theater.

Music and dance performances presented by Mott-Haven based Latinx arts organization ID Studio:
  • ArtsLatinoNY Ensemble, directed by Pablo Mayor
  • Pajarillo Pinta’o Dance Company, directed by Daniel Fetecua


Thu, September 27, 2018 6:30-7:30 PM
Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 6
Closing celebration of Night Watch

Join More Art and view the barge together!


Article 14 Broadside

While conducting research for Night Watch, More Art compiled an extensive list of the many NYC-based groups, organizations and institutions that, in myriad ways, stand up for immigrants rights. We have compiled these resources into a broadside–useful for people looking for direct legal support, as well as people looking for paths to direct actions to support immigrant communities.


behind the scenes.


community engagement.

The current administration’s immigration-related executive orders have unique and potentially harmful implications for the LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive community. In nearly 80 countries around the world, it is a crime to be LGBTQ+. LGBTQ+ refugees turned away at our borders face death at home or in refugee camps. The increased use of detention centers for would-be asylees is particularly problematic because of the documented history of sexual and physical abuse endured by LGBTQ+ detainees.

Night Watch and the ecology of community engagement, outreach, and public programs supporting and extending the project’s reach, intends to expand the messaging of our core advocacy partners in order to increase visibility and advocacy around the following policy issues for youth and LGBTQ+ immigrants.

Immigration Equality

More Art is proud to be partnering with Immigration Equality to highlight the lives and stories of LGBTQ+ immigrants in our film Night Watch. Since 1994, Immigration Equality has been proud to advocate for and represent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and HIV-positive immigrants seeking safety, fair treatment, and freedom.

For more than 20 years, they have been focused on providing free direct legal services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-positive immigrants. Immigration Equality has and continues to aid asylum seekers forced to flee to the U.S. to find safety, LGBTQ+ immigrant and binational couples and families separated by oceans, asylum seeks trapped in immigration detention facilities, and undocumented LGBTQ+ people living in the shadows within the U.S.

Queer Detainee Empowerment Project

Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, assists LGBTQ+ people coming out of immigration detention in securing structural, health/wellness, educational, legal, and emotional support and services.

The Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP) is a post-release support, detention center visitation, direct service, and community organizing project that works with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Two Spirit, Trans, Intersex, Gender Non- Conforming, and HIV+ (LGBTQIA* GNC TS) immigrant prisoners and their families currently in detention centers, those that have been recently released from detention centers, and those at risk at entering immigration detention in the Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York).

RIF Asylum Support

More Art is proud to be collaborating with RIF Asylum Support — an asylum orientation organization providing legal workshops and support groups to asylum seekers in New York City. They work with many amazing individuals seeking asylum in the US and have helped connect families separated throughout the asylum application process.

Safe Passage Project

With the Safe Passage Project, More Art led an intensive photography workshop for the youth they represent. Workshops like this are designed to empower participants to shift narratives about their personal experiences.

The female-identifying participants learned about campaigns that have successfully overturned stereotypes, shifted dominant narratives, and changed how people understand each other. More Art commissioned teaching artist Vanessa Teran to lead this workshop. During the workshop, the group developed their own campaign slogan and executed a photo shoot. Basic photography vocabulary and techniques were covered. After a guest presentation by Shimon Attie, Teran worked with participants to light and compose unique photographs in a way that communicates the campaign message. The workshop goal was meant to empower positive self-representation. Some of the images can be seen below.



about the artist.

Shimon Attie is an internationally renowned visual artist who creates artworks that reflect on the relationship between place, memory, and identity. Attie’s artistic practice includes creating immersive site-specific installations and public artworks in a wide variety of media, contexts, and communities. In many of his projects, Attie engages local communities as a way of finding new courses for representing their history, memory, and potential futures. Having earned his MFA in 1991, Attie has since received more than 25 commissions to create new works of art in more than ten countries around the world. In addition Attie has received 11 year-long visual artist fellowships, including from the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Academy in Rome (The Rome Prize), The National Endowment for the Arts, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and Kunstfonds.  


our supporters.

Night Watch and accompanied public programs are supported in part by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Lambent Foundation, New York Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, and generous individual donations.

special thanks

Night Watch was made possible through support by Chemistry Creative. Chemistry Creative is a Full Service Production Company and Studio Rental Complex in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They specialize in Experiential Production, Audio Visual Systems, Scenic Design and Custom Fabrication.

To learn more about Chemistry Creative, their services, and what projects they are involved in check out their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.