International Artists Show the faces of Migrants
On Thursday, July 25, 2013 artist Favianna Rodriguez and CultureStrike hosted Face to Face: Action. Healing. Solidarity in collaboration with Ted Prize winning, photographer JR and his project Inside Out and HUB Oakland. The goal of the project is to show the faces of migrants and their allies in “dignified ways.” Black and white poster-sized portraits were taken in a mobile photo booth, printed and put together to cover a large white wall at 2323 Broadway Ave. in Oakland, Calif.
Rodriguez is an internationally recognized artist who has become involved in the pro-reform debate on immigration at a national level. She is also the coordinator of CultureStrike. According to Rodriguez, CultureStrike is a national organization that organizes “artist and musicians and filmmakers around migrant rights.”
Julio Salgado, CultureStrike network coordinator says that the event is meant to “put a face to the migrant and people of color community.”
Rodriguez says that the project is “about honoring our beauty and our resiliency as a community.” She says, “There’s many Trayvon Martin’s, there’s many Oscar Grants, and there’s also people being deported every single day, over a thousand deportations a day.” Rodriguez explains the excitement about JR’s participation in the project and at the fact that “we’re able to really send a message to the entire country that black and Latino communities can come together.”
JR is a French artist who exhibits his black and white portraits around the world. His project Inside Out began in 2011. Portraits that are a part of the project have been exhibited in countries like Brazil, Mexico, Haiti, Italy, Thailand and Pakistan.
More than 10 volunteers helped with the project throughout the day. By approximately 2 p.m., more than 50 people had already participated by having their pictures taken. The wall on which the portraits were placed belongs to HUB Oakland, which according to their website, is a “physical space where community leaders and social entrepreneurs can join together, cross pollinate, bloom and thrive.”
According to The Pew Research Hispanic Center, there are currently an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The Senate passed the immigration reform bill in June.by