Working Papers in Education

The Artivism of Julio Salgado’s I Am Undocuqueer! Series

Carrie Hart


In this paper, I explore the intersections of queer and undocumented identities and experiences as manifested in the artwork of Julio Salgado, particularly in his contemporary I Am Undocuqueer! series, an ongoing collaboration between Salgado and community activist groups such as the Undocumented Queer Youth Collective and the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project. Hybrid politics inform Salgado’s work at multiple levels – in his self-identification as an "artivist," his direct involvement of activist groups working for LGBTQ and undocumented rights, his inclusion of multiple languages alongside images, and his use of various public display, such as street art and via social media. In each dimension, Salgado’s claims and affirms the presence of those who experience marginalization within the U.S. according to their nationality, documentation/authorization status, gender and sexual identities. His work enables the narration of undocuqueer experiences in a format that utilizes visual and linguistic modes simultaneously; considering the role of both the visual and of language in constructing xenophobic epistemologies, Salgado’s chosen format embodies possibilities of resistance that are particularly notable in that they formulate resistance by reframing some of the same modalities that constitute the oppression of people according to their race/ethnicity, nationality, gender, and sexual identities. By rendering multiple dimensions of undocuqueer experience visible, Salgado envisions a politics of resistance in which rights for immigrants and queer-identified people are not separable according to the same logics that marginalize them in the first place.


artivism; undocuqueer; hybridity

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