The Welcoming (La Bienvenida).
A public art project developed for the 2006 Liverpool Biennial and managed by the Bluecoat Arts Centre.
For The Welcoming, Velez worked with asylum seekers, refugees, and minority groups of Liverpool. He considered that after the terrorist attacks in the UK, the political and social situation regarding immigrants and minority communities dramatically worsened.
Velez actively worked with a group of young asylum seekers from Afghanistan, and members of the Irish, Chinese and Congolese communities in Liverpool. He realized the project needed to incorporate elements of skill development and employment opportunity. For this, the artist proposed video and music workshops for the young asylum seekers, which were included in the performance.
The Welcoming began at Liverpool Town Hall, with a march following the route related to historical trading, slavery, and modern migration. At Albert Docks, the march met with the group of young asylum seekers on board the trader Glacier of Liverpool entering the docks. Soon after that, the ship docked by the TATE Liverpool, where a rally took place with speakers of each participant community.