“Flowers on the Inside” sends hope to undocumented immigrants held in detention centers
September 16, 2019 — Oakland, CA—The Center for Cultural Power, formerly CultureStrike, announced today the launch of its Flowers on the Inside website. The project, a collaboration with Casa Arcoiris and Forward Together, was conceived by undocumented artists to support and raise awareness of the issues that undocumented immigrants are currently facing in detention centers. Visitors to the website will be able to select one of five illustrations designed by five undocumented artists for a postcard that they will be able to sign online with a personal message. Casa Arcoiris will then distribute the postcards to undocumented immigrants held in detention centers across the United States.
The theme of flowers symbolizes growth, resilience and embodies beauty, which correlates with the message that the senders want to be delivered to those inside: that they deserve dignity and that there is love and hope for them on the outside.
The artists and activists participating in the project are, Emulsify, Brian Herrera, Karla Daniela Rosas, Julio Salgado, and Maria Hu Wu – all of whom are undocumented themselves. These artists reclaim the undocumented narrative by showing the duality and complexity of this community through their creative expression. “Life for undocumented immigrants is becoming more and more difficult. People live in constant fear of ICE raids and deportations and the media is constantly filled with these stories and images. We felt that it was necessary to provide a counter-narrative to this,” says Salgado, artist-activist and Migrant Storytelling in Pop culture Manager for The Center for Cultural Power, “We want to amplify and send a message that even in situations like these where the treatment of undocumented immigrants is dehumanizing, there are still a lot of undocumented people and allies on the outside that are fighting for those on the inside.”
Flowers on the Inside will uplift a narrative that inspires hope and connection, recognizes the humanity of the community, and centers around compassion. “We want to provide encouraging messages to our fellow human beings who are going through the darkest times in their lives, ”says Favianna Rodriguez, President of the Center for Cultural Power, “It is through art and creative resistance that we hope to raise awareness about what’s happening inside of these prisons, and that these people are humans and deserve better. We want to show the world and those on the inside that walls will not divide us.”
Users will be able to send their messages until the end of October, when all of the postcards will be printed and finally distributed to detention centers across the nation. The Center for Cultural Power has also partnered with Life Is Living Festival happening on Saturday, October 12, 2019 in West Oakland. There will be blank postcards for participants to write on that we will also be mailed in addition to all the online submissions. To learn more about the initiative and how people can support it you can visit: www.flowersontheinside.org
ABOUT THE CENTER FOR CULTURAL POWER
The Center for Cultural Power, as noted above formerly known as CultureStrike, is an artist-of-color-led organization building the infrastructure and cultural assets to support artists and storytellers pushing for social change. We activate authentic narratives and amplify stories that shift culture toward justice and equity. Our work resides at the intersections of migration, climate chaos, and gender, racial and cultural justice. Our primary strategy is to invest directly in artists and work in partnership with directly impacted communities. All of our work supports artists and culture-makers whose voices transform the status quo to create a more just, healthy, and inclusive future. This includes artists of color, immigrant and undocumented artists, disabled artists, transgender artists, indigenous artists, and women artists. For additional information please visit Cultural Power.
ABOUT FORWARD TOGETHER
Forward Together transforms culture and policy to work for everyone nationwide. Since its founding in 1989, Forward Together has continually fought to dismantle the ways that society marginalizes people based on race, sexuality, and gender. Today they build courage and foster connection among a multi-racial community of changemakers to secure the rights, recognition, and resources all families need to thrive.
ABOUT CASA ARCOIRIS
Casa Arcoíris is a grassroots organization based in the border city of Tijuana to provide dignified shelter, food, and basic services to migrating LGBTQ+ populations. It is made up of activists based in Tijuana who also belong to other organizations and collectives that support the LGBT+ community and displaced/vulnerable people.