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Survive, Resist, Create: art by immigrants facing deportation

Reception for the artist:
First Friday September 6th, from 7-9
September 1-30

Survive, Resist, Create: art by immigrants facing deportation
A Collaboration with Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project

About the art:
Beyond the legal challenges that they face, our clients report daily challenges to their well-being created by immigration detention itself. Many of our clients are trauma survivors, having experienced gang violence, domestic abuse, war, and discrimination in their home countries. On top of that, many experienced trauma on their journey to the United States, at the hands of officials, or have been traumatized by the experience of being detained.

For many of our clients, art is a form of survival. It is a way to process their experiences. It is a way to self-sooth. It is a means of self-expression in a system that silences their stories.

For many of our clients, art is also a form of connection. Much of the art you will see in this gallery was gifted to attorneys and social workers by their clients. Over the months and years that our staff work with their clients, they become a significant part of their clients’ lives. Art is one way that our clients share their love and gratitude.

For us, art is inspiration. Our clients’ art reminds us of their resilience. It allows their individual personalities and stories to accompany us in our daily lives, even while they remain incarcerated. It allows the outside world to encounter them in all of their strength, creativity, and beauty. It ensures that they are not forgotten.

About the Florence Project:
On any given day, there are almost 6,000 individuals incarcerated in detention facilities in Arizona. Though their stories are diverse, they all have two things in common: they are in deportation proceedings, and they do not have the right to free legal representation. Though immigrants are not guaranteed an attorney, they fight their case against a skilled government prosecutor before an Immigration Judge, whose subjective opinion will determine whether they will be returned to the conditions they fled. For some, deportation is a death sentence.

The Florence Project is the only organization in Arizona that provides free legal and social services to detained immigrants. We believe that all immigrants facing removal deserve a fair day in court. We believe all people deserve safety. We stand beside our clients as they fight for freedom from detention and for protection in the United States.