I am UndocuQueer!

Yesterday at Stanford:

UndocuQueer is Julio Salgado’s telescoping portmanteau of undocumented queer:

“I am UndocuQueer!” is an art project in conjunction with the Undocumented Queer Youth Collective and the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) that aims to give us undocumented queers more of a presence in the discussion of migrant rights. 

More information (and another portmanteau) on the website Feet in 2 Worlds: Telling the Stories of Today’s Immigrants:

I am UndocuQueer – A Young, Undocumented, Gay Artist Advocates for the DREAM Act

Self-proclaimed artivist Julio Salgado, co-founder of DreamersAdrift, has been cartooning his way through such anguished and uncomfortable topics.  A 28-year-old Mexican immigrant, Salgado discovered his affinity for editorial cartoons as a journalism student at California State University, Long Beach.

Salgado’s family moved from Mexico to Los Angeles when he was 11-years-old. They overstayed a temporary visa when his younger sister developed chronic kidney disease, requiring a kidney transplant from their mother. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he is collaborating with artist Favianna Rodriguez on an art exhibit at SOMArts, and is helping her with a course on the intersection between visual art and social justice at Stanford University.

Salgado’s trademark images are bright, almost neon-colored portraits of undocumented youth accompanied by bold personal or political messages, with characters often dressed in a graduation cap and gown. His pieces often respond to current events, such as Florida Congressman David Rivera’s proposed military DREAM Act, and Yanelli Hernandez Serrano’s recent deportation.

Most recently, he has been working on a series called “I am UndocuQueer” that features portraits and quotes from DREAMers who identify as LGBTQ. One portrait of a brown-haired woman named Yahaira includes this quote: “Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.” He is distributing the images online via Facebook and Tumblr, and organizations in New York, Los Angeles and Florida have already asked to use his images in workshops. So far he has done 35 portraits, and hopes the images will go viral online.

In there we get artivist: art(ist) + activist. The Wikipedia page on artivism is somewhat chaotic and doesn’t identify a source for the label (though the word seems to have appeared early in this century); artivists have, of course, been around for quite a long time, creating art in the service of social activism. (Banksy — see here — is a well-known recent artivist.)

From the Wikipedia page (which shows a great fondess for capitalization):

The artivist is often involved in Street Art, Subvertising, Spoken Word, Activism and Protesting, but mediums like Film and Music are also increasing.

… A typical short term goal of artivists is to reclaim public space, especially by subvertising or destroying ads in urban areas or city transportation systems.

Yes, one more portmanteau: subvertising (noun and verb, plus derivatives like subvertisement):

Subvertising is a portmanteau of subvert and advertising. It refers to the practice of making spoofs or parodies of corporate and political advertisements. (link)

Again, spoofs or parodies of advertisements have been around for a long time, but in subvertising this playfulness is put to political ends.

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