We Are Coming
2022-ongoing (in collaboration with Emmanuel David)
Between 1899-1900, Buffalo Bill's Wild West hired eight Filipinos to join the Congress of Rough Riders of the World. Although the Filipino Rough Riders were largely forgotten to history, Yumi Janairo Roth and Emmanuel David are working with historic theaters in towns and cities where the Wild West show traveled to install the performers' names on vintage marquees. Inspired by the iconic 1900 Courier Lithographic Co. chromographic poster, I Am Coming, which features Cody’s portrait superimposed over stampeding bison, We Are Coming decenters the white, masculine subject encompassed in the singular “I” and asserts a collective “We” of immigrant communities whose group boundaries have yet to be fully constituted. We Are Coming reimagines the original poster design’s anticipatory logics and stages Filipino futures yet to come. While it announces a collective action in the present, We Are Coming also refers to past waves of migration and posits the possibility of future arrivals.

We Are Coming is part of the artists' itinerant public art intervention, a project that remembers the past, electrifies the present, and anticipates a future in which these Filipinos are reimagined as primary subjects. It resurrects and recenters, in bright lights, the memory of the original Filipino Rough Riders and reestablishes a link between Filipinos and the American West.
Related Text:

Past, Present Come Together: Marquee project recognizes Rough Riders

Marquee Project Honors Buffalo Bill's Forgotten Filipino Actors

Discovering Filipino Rough Riders of the American West | In The Studio with Yumi Roth Emmanuel David

We Are Coming-Cowboy Conversations