PhotoSummer: Artist's Statement

Amy S. Martin

Todos Dignos: Undocumented Voices

Immigration is perhaps the biggest issue debated in America currently, but many voices have been left out of the conversation. Todos Dignos is a portrait/storytelling project sharing truths and dignifying undocumented immigrants and their contributions to local communities and greater American society. This project is being created with the belief that creating pathways of connection to those who have been denied a platform to share their human stories, can cultivate empathy and spark action towards positive change in policy. This project confronts false narratives, perpetrated by our media, surrounding immigrants and migrants. In this time of the 'otherness' rhetoric, to aid in a more informed and cohesive society.

Each subject shares hints of their identity through objects that they chose to represent their contributions. The portraits show the subjects emerging from the shadows where they have been pushed by previous and current immigration policies. Many of the subjects were brought over as children or have been here waiting for their papers to be processed for decades.

The subjects frequently have been labeled 'other' and have minimized rights to work, education, travel, and speech. They have not been granted the ability to freely share their faces or tell their stories in our society, leaving space for widespread mistruths to be created and spread about them.

Todos Dignos creates a platform to share the human condition and brings stories and images out from the shadows with hopes of creating meaningful connection to others in our community, and greater society.