Blog of Jingjie Chen

Final Documentation

::: The Colibri Kites Website :::   Go here to see full project

The Colibri Kites project is both a poetic gesture and memorial event to commemorate the undocumented migrants who died while crossing the US-Mexican border. 

Colibri is Spanish for hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are migratory birds that are native to the Americas, the majority are native to Latin America.

In 2009, the body of an undocumented migrant was found in the desert, and in his pocket he carried a small dead hummingbird, an indigenous symbol of safe passage and a messenger between the living and the dead. The man is named after Colibri, as well as thousands of other such migrants. Each migrant is a colibri, a courageous explorer, seeker, and sacrificer who sets out on a journey, often of no return, for that beam of hope, a better life for their family.

Every missing migrant is a flying kite, flown by their families. The migrants who died on their way to find hope for their family are kites with broken strings, unable to reconnect with their families, unable to fly again, unable to return home.

The Colibri Kite is a gesture to link the souls of these unidentifiable migrants to the families that are waiting for a chance to reunite with their loved ones spiritually. Each kite represents a migrant, carrying the weight and meaning of their souls.

On the day of the dead, thousands of Colibri Kites go up in the sky, to mourn the deceased migrants and let their souls return home. As the kites fly, the family members feeling the pull on the threads would feel that their loved ones’ soul has really come back.

Project Description:

Design :

Design Direction

Ideation 2

Ideation 1

Creative Direction

Research Presentation 2


Research Presentation 1