The participants bring a diverse set of perspectives to the knotty core of the crisis of human movement unfolding in North America and across the rest of the world. Some of the specific angles being addressed include the detention and separation of families, the criminalization of undocumented youth, the demands for legalization, and the economic and ecological brutality that results from militarized border policies.
When it comes to immigration, the messages we get are dominated by criminality and punishment. In 2010 alone, 250 anti-immigrant laws and resolutions modeled on Arizona’s SB1070 were passed. 2011 brought more ill-considered and devastating state laws in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Utah. Even more troubling is the ongoing trauma caused by family separation and deportation after the Obama Administration made Secure Communities (S-COMM) mandatory. Elsewhere in the world migrants are being similarly brutalized, whether left for dead in the Mediterranean by passing cruise ships, singled out for fascist beatings in the far north, or forced into slavery by opportunists in refugee populations everywhere. In this climate, we think that art can play a key role in telling the stories of how people are affected by these events and laws. Artists can go to the root of the migration problems and help to both shift public perception of the issues and shed light on hidden horrors. That’s why we’re doing this: watch this space for further updates!