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San Diegans show support for DREAM Act through Liberty Station art installation

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http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/visuals/95008979-132.html

Artists with a traveling art installation began pasting photos of San Diegans’ faces on a Liberty Station building on Monday to show support for dreamers and push Congress to pass a bill to protect them by the end of the year.

The Inside Out/Dreamers project hopes the community-created public art will catch the attention of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, and convince him to support the DREAM Act, which would give green cards to unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Photo booth trucks from the project are traveling to more than 30 strategically-selected cities around the U.S. to target members of Congress the group hopes to sway in favor of the DREAM Act.

“It’s a platform for everyone who believes that we need to sort out the situation for dreamers by December,” said Jaime Scatena, the truck’s lead artist.

Activist groups across the U.S. who support dreamers have pressured Congress to pass a bill to protect them since the Trump administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, in September.

 

After participants sat in the photo booth area to have their pictures taken, the truck printed larger-than-life copies of the photos through a slit in its side. A small crew worked with Scatena to paste the prints in a row that they hoped would eventually wrap all the way around the building.

The paste is water-based and non-toxic, Scatena said.

After about two hours, they had more than 13 black-and-white photos on the wall and a stack ready to go up. A small line of people waited to be photographed in front of the truck’s polka dot background.

Cat Darby, a visual artist and writer who works nearby, was excited to participate after she heard what cause the project was supporting.

 

“This is wonderful, and I think more people should be aware of the situation,” Darby said. “Visuals are a way to get the message to the public.”

The Inside Out Project was started in 2011 by French street artist JR. It allows groups to start public art campaigns for different causes. Artists affiliated with the project have printed several hundred thousand photographs around the world.

The Inside Out/Dreamers initiative is a collaboration between The Inside Out Project and the Emerson Collective, a social justice organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs.

The project asked local activists to talk about why they want Congress to pass the DREAM Act as the artists worked.

Itzel Guillen, a DACA recipient, emphasized that people who support dreamers should be pushing for a “clean DREAM Act,” which would mean no additional enforcement measures added in as compromises to the protections given to the immigrants affected by the end of DACA.

“Anything that came with strings attached would hurt our communities,” Guillen said. “San Diego County would be one of the communities that would be hurt by any legislation that would include more money for agents and more money for walls. This would put our families at risk.”

Guillen, who works as an organizer at Alliance San Diego, said she appreciated the art community’s support on the issue.

“They made a really bold statement supporting the DREAM Act,” Guillen said. “That was something I hadn’t seen before, using an art project to uphold the voices of DACA recipients and give them a space to speak their truth.”

The photo booth truck will be taking photos at the Arts District Liberty Station again on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Source: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/immigration/sd-me-dreamers-art-20171030-story.html

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