Alto Arizona and Artists Changing the Immigration Debate

Indigenous Solidarity by Chandra Narcia

This past week Colorlines magazine published an article that profiles four visual artists who are “reshaping the immigration debate” in the United States. They’re a part of the the Alto Arizona campaign, which has collected over 500 artists involved in “creative resistance” to the raids and deportations in Arizona and beyond.  Alto Arizona is a direct response to Arizona Senate Bill 1070 and works in connection with Puente Movement for Human Rights.

You can view the extensive gallery of posters here. Here’s a bit about their mission from From the Alto Arizona creative resistance gallary page:

Most social justice struggles in the world have had some kind of artistic and cultural expression. The fight for immigrant rights in the United States is no exception. Arts and culture build unity, pride and identity. And when oppressed people are proud of who they are, no one can humiliate them. When impoverished communities do not live in fear, they cannot be subjected. When marginalized people come together, they cannot be broken. And when there is unity, pride and courage, no one will dare to oppress our people.

Alto Arizona is calling on all artists, painters, poets, musicians, visual artists, performers and filmmakers to use their talents to help the migrant communities and their supporters in Arizona. Help us turn uncertainty, fear and anger into courage to fight, courage to peacefully resist, and courage to love even our adversaries. 

For more, click here.

Quoting once again from the Colorlines article, “Without those cultural elements, is a movement without soul,” says Pablo Alvarado, director of National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).”  NDLON works in direct affiliation with Alto Arizona. Continuing to quote form the Colorlines article, “The arts helps you to define and capture specific moments of the struggle,” Alvarado said. “It helps portray the human face of the migrant story and what the world could be. That’s why it’s so important.”

Artists featured in the arctile include Ernesto Yerena, curator of Heche Con Ganas, Cesar Maxit of the DC51 artist collective, Melanie Cervantes  who created the poster “Brown and Proud,” and Chandra L. Narcia who created the “Indigenous Solidarity” posters.

You can read about each of these artists, their specific works, and their community action by reading the entire Colorlines article here.