September 09, 2011

Immigration reform is an important issue to me, especially as it relates to human rights abuse, invasion of privacy, and racial profiling. A great art-based campaign called CultureStrike begins Sept. 11 with many artists and writers. Also, Ernesto Yerena and I worked on another immigration themed print of Sheriff Joe Arpaio to fundraise for human rights in Arizona. Read about both here. Thanks for caring.

As the next election season ramps up, Shepard Fairey and Ernesto Yerena are selling their “Re-election” poster for the last remaining birther, Sheriff Arpaio in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Before there was the “show me your papers” law, SB 1070, there was and still is Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the lawman who went on CNN to say he was proud to be considered KKK.  Empowered by the federal government, the Sheriff’s department converted itself into an Immigration/deportation pipeline, spending its time donning ski-masks to break up families, ask people for their papers and perform warrantless searches. Rather than live in fear, Arizonans have organized for more than the past three years asking for the Dept. of Justice to intervene in Maricopa County.
This poster, like the upcoming documentary “Under Arpaio”, is another weapon in the cache of the AltoArizona campaign to bring Arpaio to justice and restore human rights in Arizona.

Nationally Acclaimed Writers & Artists Launch an Arts-Based Project Challenging Anti-Immigration Policies – CultureStrike

This September 11, over 50 visual artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians, and creatives will gather in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona to kick off a major national arts-based campaign challenging punitive, anti-immigrant laws and failed federal immigration policies. Artists will come together to bear witness, share skills and tactics, and to organize cultural workers.

CultureStrike will first organize artists and writers to raise the voices of those most impacted by regressive policies targeted at immigrants. The goal is to encourage artists to play a key intervention role into the debate around immigration in a way that reaches audiences beyond the bounds of what community organizing and policy-based organizing can do.

“We believe that culture is a vehicle for positive social change. We are part of a long, loud and proud tradition of those who have use their art to envision and create a world,” says artist, Favianna Rodriguez. “We are a group of concerned writers, artists, and fellow creatives who have come together to strike back against anti-immigrant hatred. We believe this delegation will deeply inform artists and writers of the conditions faced by immigrants at the frontlines, creating a space where unique collaborations can be fostered across genres.”

Among the delegates are a number of award-winning visual artists such as Emory Douglas, former Minister of the Culture of the Black Panther Party; El Mac, prominent street artist and painter; Tania Bruguera, interdisciplinary artist and 1998 Guggenheim fellow; and Favianna Rodriguez, printmaker and new media artist. Notable writers include National Book Award winner Maxine Hong Kingston and National Book Award finalists Alberto Rios and Jessica Hagedorn, New Yorker Magazine “20 under 40″ writer Daniel Alarcon, a Tony Award winner, two MacArthur Fellows, four American Book Award winners, a Kennedy Center Award Winner, and a Yale Poetry Prize winner.

A number of the artists involved in the project are heavily critical at President Obama for his record-breaking deportation record and for expanding detrimental federal programs, such as SCOMM, which are only leading to more deportations and devastation of our communities. “There have been more deportations on President Obama’s watch than at any time in American history. Continuing these massive deportations is a devastating betrayal of the diverse immigrant communities that helped to elect him,” said Andrew Hsiao, a journalist and a founder of CultureStrike. “And as writers and artists, we are speaking out against federal programs that tear families apart.”

This sharp criticism of Obama among important artists stands in stark contrast to the powerful, widespread support in the creative community that Obama received in 2008—support that helped elect the nation’s first Black president. Today, however, Obama is facing discontent among artists and other progressives over many crucial issues, including immigration. (Surprise, surprise)

Here are more details:

CultureStrike Visual Arts Workshops – Free to the public!

Check out for a more detailed list of workshops and readers

Rebelate! Radical Poster Making For Our Liberation
The Toole Shed
197 East Toole St. Tucson , Arizona 85701
Jesus Barraza of Dignidad Rebelde leads a workshop on poster-making, giving participants a brief history of the role of political posters in liberation struggles, and doing a screen-printing demonstration. Participants with have an opportunity for participants to print posters of pre-made designs provided by Dignidad Rebelde. All materials provided. Limit: 10 participants.

Stencils To Take Back The Streets!
The Toole Shed
197 East Toole St. Tucson , Arizona 85701
Acclaimed artist Cesar Maxit leads a workshop on stencil-making, one of the most popular and accessible methods available to make a print. Participants will learn the political context of stencils as agitprop, along with practice in the techniques needed to learn the fundamentals of stencil art and how to cut 1 and 2 layer stencils. All materials provided. Limit: 12 participants.

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CultureStrike Presents
The Culture Shift: Words and Art for Migrant Justice and Immigrant Rights
Free to the public!
Wednesday, September 14, 7:30pm
Mercado San Augustin
100 S. Avenida Del Convento, Tucson, Arizona

Join us for the CultureStrike festival: a series of free public arts workshops followed by a free outdoor festival featuring writers and artists from the CultureStrike delegation. Hailing from California, New York, D.C. and, of course, Arizona, the CultureStrike delegation includes two National Book Award finalists, two MacArthur “Genius” Fellows, two American Book Award winners, and one of The New Yorker’s top 20 writers under 40! Readers will include novelist Daniel Alarcón, cultural historian Jeff Biggers, poet Sherwin Bitsui, playwright James Garcia, novelist Jessica Hagedorn, San Francisco Poetry Slam Champion James Kass, journalist Roberto Lovato, Tucson spoken word poet Logan Phillips, nonfiction writer Rinku Sen, and other members of the delegation.

“Undocumented. Unafraid.” by Favianna Rodriguez & “We Are Human” by Shepard Fairey and Ernesto Yerena

Collaboration between Shepard Fairey and Ernesto Yerena
30 x 38 inches
Edition of 108
Hand Printed at Self Help Graphics by Master Printer Jose Alpuche
$200 – ON SALE 9/22/11

Video Link to watch Under Arpaio Traler: