June 14, 2012
Today, TIME Magazine becomes the first national magazine to put undocumented immigrants right on its cover, in a time when many immigrants still live in hiding. The cover story features two artists: Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jose Antonio Vargas and artist Julio Salgado, one of the core members of CultureStrike. A young artist who is redefining the immigrant experience through posters and videos, Julio joined a CultureStrike delegation of artists in 2011 to bear witness to the Arizona border. Since then he has been crucial in creating CultureStrike’s national poster project, which will launch later this year, as well as the artist’s collaborative Dreamers Adrift. A video series he helped create, “Undocumented and Awkward,” mentioned in the TIME article, highlights the “painfully awkward moments” of being an undocumented immigrant–and was created at a CultureStrike residency.
We, the cultural community, stand side-by-side Julio Salgado and the millions of other undocumented individuals who are bravely fighting for dignity and acceptance. There are more than eleven million undocumented individuals, like Julio, in the United States. We believe this means there are more than eleven million stories that need to be told. In a time when over a million individuals have been deported in the last three years, Julio represents something different and inspiring: the belief that we can imagine immigrants as fellow human beings, people who belong here as much as anyone else.
Jeff Chang, Ken Chen, Andrew Hsiao, Favianna Rodriguez – On Behalf of CultureStrike
Add your name to this pledge by signing our petition page now.
Zack de la Rocha, Rage Against the Machine
Christina Antonakos-Wallace, filmmaker
Oriana Bolden, Filmmaker
Jeff Biggers, author
Manish Vaidya Coordinator, Peacock Rebellion
Tina Vasquez, feminist writer
Alex Rivera, Filmmaker
Roberto Lovato, writer
Rinku Sen, Applied Research Center
Colette Gaiter, multimedia artist
Sharon Zapata, organizer
Dream Hampton, journalist
Betsy Richards, Opportunity Agenda
J.M. Aragón, Pan Left Productions
Gabriel Teodros, emcee, educator
W. Kamau Bell, Laughter Against the Machine
Nato Green, Laughter Against the Machine
Bogar Alonso, writer
Cesar Maxit, artist, organizer
Gan Golan, author, artist
Jesus Iniguez, Dreamers Adrift
Sherwin Bitsui, poet
Logan Phillips, poet
Jessica Hagedorn, writer
CultureStrike is 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. We send writers and artists to the frontlines of the immigration civil rights battle–such as our 2011 delegation of 50 writers and artists to Arizona. At CultureStrike.org, our online magazine, we publish the best arts and culture emerging from the immigration counterculture. A collaborative project of the Citizen Engagement Lab and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, we seek to build a cultural movement on immigration.