Art Exhibit Calls Attention to Plight of Undocumented Immigrants
“ARTIVISM: We Are American” Features José Antonio Vargas & Julio Salgado, two activists recently spotlighted by TIME
WHAT: “ARTIVISM: We Are American” — a one-day pop-up art exhibit & talk about art, culture & immigration
WHEN: Tuesday, June 26, 6 – 9 PM PDT
WHERE: La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA
On Friday, June 15, President Barack Obama announced that he would grant administrative relief to DREAM Act-eligible youth. That was the same day that 36 DREAMers — born in 15 different countries but all of whom call America home — appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine.
Featuring a gripping story written by undocumented journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, TIME delved deeply into the issue. These groundbreaking events were possible because of the many years of hard work by both undocumented activists and the members of their underground railroad. The art of Julio Salgado has captured a lot of that work and undocumented students have used his illustrations as a tool of empowerment. Identifying as “UndocuQueer,” Julio’s activist artwork is a staple for DREAMers around the country and has been shared widely in social networks, capturing the attention of companies such as American Apparel. Inspired by the work of undocumented students and activists, Vargas came out as an undocumented immigrant in The New York Times in June 2011 and has used his storytelling skills to continue to elevate the immigration conversation around the country.
Join both artists as they talk about their work and the importance of cultural organizing in the immigration movement.
About Julio Salgado
Julio Salgado is the co-founder of DreamersAdrift.com and a member ofCultureStrike. an artist-led initiative that seeks to shift the national imagination on immigration through innovative and urgent collaborations between artists, writers and other cultural workers. A staple of the DREAM Act movement, his activist artwork is shared in social networks and recognized by various news organizations. His status as an undocumented, queer artivist has fueled the contents of his illustrations, which depict key individuals and moments of the DREAM Act movement. Undocumented students and allies across the country have used Salgado’s artwork to call attention to the youth-led movement. His work has been praised by OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano, KPCC-FM 89.3′s Multi-American blog and the influential journal ColorLines. A video series he helped create, “Undocumented and Awkward,” mentioned in the TIME article, highlights the “painfully awkward moments” of being an undocumented immigrant. Salgado graduated from California State Universitiy, Long Beach with a degree in journalism.
About Jose Antonio Vargas
Jose Antonio Vargas is the founder of Define American, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to elevating and reframing the immigration conversation. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Vargas, in a June 2012 cover story for TIME magazine titled “WE ARE AMERICANS* (*Just not legally),” popularized the term “undocumented Americans” in describing the country’s population of 11.5 million undocumented immigrants. Jose has been a journalist for over a decade, writing for some of the most prestigious news organizations in the country, including the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, the Huffington Post and the Washington Post, where he was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize for covering the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech. Vargas has broken new ground in his coverage of various issues, from technology’s impact in politics to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the nation’s capital. His 2006 series on AIDS in Washington, D.C. inspired a feature-length documentary – The Other City – which he co-produced and wrote. It world premiered at the2010 Tribeca Film Festival and aired on Showtime. Stunning the media and political circles and attracting world-wide coverage, Vargas then told the biggest journalistic story of his career: himself. In the landmark essay for the New York Times Magazine titled “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” published in June 2011, he revealed his undocumented status for the first time publicly and declared his mission to shed light to the universal truth about immigration in America in the 21st century. A very proud alumnus of Mountain View High School and San Francisco State University, he lives in New York City but calls the Bay Area home.