Flashback: In honor of 2020 Immigrant Heritage Month, I was commissioned by the I Stand With Immigrants initiative powered by FWD.us I created the original mixed media artwork to celebrate immigrant heritage undercurrent that is our America and to commemorate the often unrecognized and under-appreciated immigrant essential unsung hero workers behind the scenes to help keep our country running the during Coronavirus epidemic.
How we treat each other is based not only on our interpersonal interactions, but on how social and political structures inform our opinions of people and subsequently how we treat or mistreat them.
We are all part of a collective species sharing one global platform where margins are consistently being negotiated and contested. As a DACA recipient, today I physically find myself on the other side of the line, struggling to keep my memories afloat. You have made it clear that I’m an “Other” but I refuse to be erased. This is my position as an immigrant and refugee yet I still share the same vision of water on the road as anyone else.
“The New Great: We are Them, They Are Us” aims to challenge the notions that keep and empower marginalized people in the margins. I sought to create urban archetypes of immigrant workers as hero’s, kings and queens devoid of the hateful rhetoric surrounding immigrants presented to us by government and media. The hollow nature of the figures without face invites the viewer to mirror themselves in the humanness inside all of us into the image, to reach beyond cultural origins and invoke connectivity in the very sameness that we share.
The promised mirage of the American Dream and the impenetrable glass wall divides us in reaching the green utopia on the other side. In the sum of our struggles, sacrifices, and defiance as immigrants – home remains inside, freedom in mind and within the resilience of the human spirit.
This work is a call for coexistence, for an ideal world in which individuals can unite in celebration of our distinctions and of our common humanity.