LatinaLista — The fight for the rights of undocumented immigrants in the United States evolved into a national movement when images reflecting the movement aroused empathy and action. Aside from the faces of those immigrants brave enough to step forward and declare their citizenship status, at the risk of being apprehended and deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, it was the work of Latina and Latino artists that served as ways to rally people to the cause.
One of the most prominent artists of the immigration movement is a woman by the name of Favianna Rodriguez. A Mexican-American from California, Rodriguez is a co-founder of CultureStrike, a national organization that works to engage artists in migrant rights and in Presente.org, a national online organizing network dedicated to the political empowerment of Latino communities.
While Rodriguez has lent her talent in creating several iconic poster images for the immigration rights movement, it’s her latest campaign that is beginning to “take flight.” Rodriguez borrowed the image of one of North America’s most notable migrant communities — the monarch butterfly.
Reproducing the distinct wings of the monarch butterfly, Rodriguez has built a campaign around the wings dubbed “Migration is Beautiful.” “The wings represent the beauty and dignity of migrants and their journey.”
Thanks to a new YouTube channel called i am OTHER, Rodriguez is one of the featured artists in the new three-part documentary series Voice of Art. She shares the digital screen in the series with Pulitzer-prize winning author, Jose Antonio Vargas; UndocuQueer artivist, Julio Salgado; both of who were featured on TIME Magazine’s June 2012 Cover Story. Tucson Attorney and Human Rights Activist, Isabel Garcia; Writer and Presente.org co-founder, Roberto Lovato, actor and activist Rosario Dawson and Emcee, and Jasiri X.
In addition to watching the series, i am OTHER is calling on viewers to upload photos of butterflies to Facebook tagging i am OTHER’s page and using the #migrationisbeautiful hashtag. The first 100 people will personally receive one of Favianna’s iconic butterfly stickers.