"Art can impact the social context of family dislocations and can serve as a powerful tool in encouraging an open national dialogue about Zero Tolerance in our country"
So (sew) America Cares is a participatory social art project with a commitment to raise awareness about the lives of the children separated from their parents at the border. All the faces stitched together strengthen the very fabric of our own society.
In 2018 a Zero Tolerance immigration policy was announced, requiring that all families who cross the border shall not only be separated but also charged in federal court with the misdemeanor crime of illegal entry.
This Project’s mission is to advocate for these children and to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to participate. Thread by thread, fiber by fiber, a participating community will increase its understanding of the circumstances of these children who never asked to be illegal aliens. The project consists of 10 different faces that will be repeated 100 times each to add 1000 faces. The faces had been laser etched on raw canvas to allow the participant to use any kind of thread, yarn, wool, fabric, paint etc. So (sew) America Cares has a plan: to "sew" them back, to never allow these children to be lost again, to create a quilt of 1000 faces representing a portion of these children.
We cannot allow these traumatized children to disappear and in time, be forgotten.People are encouraged to stitch, sew, knit, knot, crochet, embroider, or braid these drawings so as to symbolically recover these children’s faces and lives again.
So (sew) America Cares is an international call for people to participate and raise awareness as to the consequences of this immigration policy and its devastating effect on children. As citizen, artist, mother and a child that suffered being separated from my family for eight years, I am concerned about the hundreds of separated children across our country.
Children of Immigration are forgotten
Children of immigration are forgotten: is a series that portrait large scale soft sculptural puppets that aren’t just children’s toys but that speak through the voices of the children. As an artist i’m exploring the intersectionality of my identity as an immigrant to preserve the stories of those that represent a vulnerable part of Little Havana Community. I’m using puppets because they are objects with rare power, they are humorous and have the ability to give voice to the voiceless. Puppets are also being explored as a way to help children to deal with trauma and their own personal stories.Puppets are a manifestation, a sign and a reflection of the historical, cultural and political situation of a society at any given time.In this particular project for En Residencia at Koubek, MDCC in collaboration with the Hispanic Branch Library i have worked with kids looking at their experiences as immigrants or children of immigrant parents in this community.Helping them to come up with questions, and answers. Puppets are an instrument for childhood education with a great pedagogical value.
This series attempts to pay attention to the most vulnerable in this community and though their stories challenged the social status quo to pay attention to the children and their stories, wether fictional or based on their life these puppets are going to express an aspect of humanity’s infancy, a sort of archetype. Hence there is a great scope of imagination, morphing into reality and with an educational potential, in the widest sense of the term. This site specific installation is going to bring a series of larger than life puppets inspired by some of the kids drawings. They are going to represent a cultural landscape of Little Havana, using residues of clothing to show a blurred memory for those in the community im trying to represent where the personal becomes political and it creates a universal language that portraits the identity of those around this community, a sense of belonging, a sort of quilt of immigrants young and old.