Published on June 1st, 2012 | by Wild Gender0
Calling all Undocu-Queers!
For those yet to be Undocu-Queered by artist/activist Julio Selgado, interested self-identified undocumented queer folk can still have their likeness transformed into a “I am UndocuQueer!” image by Selgado himself.
All Selgado asks for is a waist-up photo and a quote about “what it means to be both undocumented and queer to you.” Send both the photo and quotation to email@example.com.
“I am UndocuQueer!” is an art project started by Salgado in conjunction with the Undocumented Queer Youth Collective and the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) that aims to give undocumented queers more of a presence in the discussion of migrant rights, according to Salgado on their Tumblr. As such, Salgado is also the co-founder of media activist collective Dreamers Adrift, which aims to help undocumented youth tell their story through mixed media art forms.
“I used to say ‘I want to be a voice for the voiceless,’” he said in a recent interview with Colorlines. “But that’s problematic because people have a voice! We just choose not to hear.”
Recently, Salgado has vocalized disgust over American Apparel’s new magazine ad in which “a scantily-clad young white woman identified as ‘studying public relations’ clings gingerly to a dark-skinned Latino ‘farmer’ named Raul,” writes Colorlines.
In response, Selgado has begun illustrating a new poster sires called “Undocumented Apparel.”
“My first thought was, this is so unrealistic,” says Salgado in the Colorlines interview. “I did construction work for a couple of summers while I was in college, and I worked with guys who looked like that – you know, day laborers. And that image in the ad brought me back to one time when we were working on a hotel, putting in tile. Women who look like that model were walking by, and would pass by and totally not pay attention to us, would ignore us. The reality is, people like that usually are ignored.
“So what exactly is it that American Apparel is trying to say here? Is it, ‘See? There’s unity? We like you!’ That’s not how it happens, and American Apparel has always used people, especially women, as objects. Were they just doing this to get on the undocumented wagon?”
With the “Undocumented Apparel,” Salgado pays tribute to his mother and baby sister, with this image and quote “You backpacked across Europe and they called you adventurous. I crossed a border to save my daughter’s life and they call me a criminal.” According to Colorlines, the image has been shared 800 times on Facebook and 1000 times on Tumblr.