Next week,the pro-migrant arts nonprofit CultureStrike will be teaming up with Betti Ono Gallery and Mujeres Unidas y Activas to install a wheat paste featuring images from its powerful Visions From The Inside project. The installation event is open to the public at Betti Ono Gallery at 6-9 p.m. on Monday, October 26.
Artwork by Favianna Rodriguez for Visions from the Inside.
As East Bay Express previously reported, Culture Strike's Visions From The Inside project facilitated creative collaboration between detained immigrant women and children and artists. Each artist was paired with a detainee, and the two worked together through letters to create an image evocative of the detainee's experience.
Artistic Manager of CultureStrike Julio Salgado was inspired to create Visions From The Inside after visiting a detention center in Arizona. While there, he noticed how dependent the detainees were on letter-writing, which was one of the only forms of authorized communication. "For folks who are in detention, writing letters is so necessary," Salgado said in an earlier interview. "It's the one thing that they can use to communicate with organizations that will help them with their cases."
Many of the resulting images speak to themes of longing, entrapment, and loss of autonomy. All of the artwork can be viewed online, along with the letters that inspired them, at VisionsFromTheInside.tumblr.com.
Folks who come out to help install the mural will be given a platform to share their experiences with the prison industrial complex or immigration centers, as well. Event organizers are planning on putting the stories of attendees together in a video similar to the one below, which documents the installation of a mural designed by Culture Strike artists Julio Salgado and Susa Cortez in the Mission district of San Francisco.