Artistic Reform

Artistic ReformA national campaign to bring awareness to immigration reform issues puts an artistic spin on messaging with mobile photo booths dispatched to 30 cities around the country. Through the Inside Out / Dreamers project, a collaboration between a French artist and the advocacy organization Emerson Collective, photo images of the faces of undocumented immigrants are displayed on 26-by-53-inch posters and then hung on the exterior of buildings.

“The whole purpose is that we’re trying to create, through these pictures, an accurate portrait of America, and that’s one that includes Dreamers and immigrants,” project spokesperson Paola Ramos told The Las Vegas Review-Journal when the mobile photo booth visited the city in November.

President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program acted as the impetus behind the Inside Out / Dreamers project.  The artistic displays “provide communities and local leaders a unique platform to amplify their voices,” according to the Inside Out / Dreamers site.

“Beyond any political debate about dreamers, these portraits remind us that behind the policies are real human stories that are deeply rooted in the story of this country,” reads site information. “Inside Out / Dreamers aims to represent the diversity and unity of people that can call America home. It is a nationwide participatory art initiative aimed at creating a portrait of America that includes immigrants and the descendants of immigrants alike.”

For the Emerson Collective, initiating the Inside Out project in cities across the country offers the opportunity for individuals to tell their personal stories. The organization, described on the site as “dedicated to removing barriers to opportunity so people can live to their full potential,” focuses on education, immigration reform, the environment and other social justice issues. “We use a wide range of tools and strategies– partnering with entrepreneurs and experts, parents and policymakers, advocates and administrators– to develop and execute innovative solutions that will spur change and promote equality.”

“We are the same as every immigrant who came before us,” reads text on the Emerson site. “Filled with dreams. Determined to contribute. See our potential. We are all here. And our story is an American story.”