Jasmine Parish Moreno was born and raised in the great city of Houston, Texas. From herIranian to Mexican heritage, she’s learned to take pride and inspiration from her surroundings and experiences which led her to have an interest in all types of art, ranging from museum classics to local graffiti. Her piece in the UWD Zine was her first creative writing endeavor. She wanted to create something that captured both her personal childhood, and the shared essence of the immigrant experience; the struggles, the triumphs and our encounters with “the Great American Dream.”
Blanca Bañuelos Hernandez is a proud fronterista, artist and community advocate from Juarez México, currently residing in Tiwa territory (Albuquerque). Leading from an abolitionist perspective, it is important for her to be as unapologetic as possible through her work, using her art as an act of resistance and as a healing balm, helping undocumented people understand the importance of traditional medicines and their connection with the land. She believes in the importance of people writing their own history in their own words and creative ways and in nurturing one’s art for self and communal growth. For Bañuelos, it is important that people see themselves beyond the oppressive labels and narratives the system has given their community and to challenge and change those narratives.
Stefani Davila is a sophomore student majoring in business administration at theMiami Dade Honors College. Stefani deeply values community service, volunteering and serving as photographer for Fundación Jóvenes Contra el Cáncer in Ecuador and as a member of United We Dream. She currently serves as Co-Editor in Chief forUrbana Literary & Arts volume XV, and is the founder and president of Meraki Youth, an organization dedicated to community service, acts of kindness and more.
Born in Barcelona, Spain to Ecuadorian parents, Lucy Galarza, follows a musical legacy six generations strong. She is a songwriter, poet, composer, and producer. She completed her undergraduate studies at The City College of New York in 2017 with support from the Sphinx MPower Artist Grant and a scholarship in honor of National Heritage Fellow, Ilias Kementzidis. She lives and works in Norwalk, CT with ConnecticutStudents for a Dream.
Rubén is a non-binary, Chicanx artist whose work and writing explores identity, place, futurism, and nature, among other themes. They work primarily through poetry and performance, but venture into flash fiction, essays, and multi/mixed media arts production, as well. They are a member of Las Imaginistas, an artist collective based in Brownsville, Texas, and a co-founder of the Cicada WritersCollective. They are a self-proclaimed trickster, a proud shit-talker, a humble gardener, and on occasion, a maker and practitioner of magic.
Dani is a digital artist and first-generation immigrant from Quito, Ecuador. Having immigrated to the D.C.metropolitan area at the young age of 7, she strives to be an example of how two cultures can blend and harmoniously exist within one person, evidenced by the intangible passion and spirit of her blended heritages to steadfastly do what she loves. Her work is abstract, entertaining, open-minded, and aims to parade the internal human experience that cannot be communicated with words.
Lucinda, who also goes by La Morena, is a visual artist and cultural organizer who is claiming her Native and Mexican roots and activism through her work. Her murals focus on the power of community, current political issues, healing as well as the inspiration and guidance of her ancestors. She has shown in severalGalleries and Museums across the U.S. and has worked alongside civil rights non-profit organizations such as ACLU of Arizona, ACLU Nationwide, and Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA). She has launched her own project called “Colors of La Comunidad” and continues to use her activism to serve local communities.
Samantha is a 3D Designer who also works in graphic design, illustration, and interactive arts. Her personal digital work explores the rituals, culturally specific objects, and environments that influence her Haitian-FilipinaAmerican diaspora identity and personal memory. Samantha’s clients and experiences include Eva-NYC,10011.co, Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, Combo NYC, and Google Summer of Code under theProcessing Foundation. She also co-founded Close Isn’t Home, an online platform to share narratives, info and resources for Black and Indigenous people and people of color interested in 3D design and interactive art.
Ariana is a Venezuelan artist based in Florida, specializing in digital art and with a passion for represent-ing her life and journey through her artwork.
A first generation Bengali immigrant, Art Twink grew up drawing critters they thought up to comfort themselves and their friends, and that mission continues to this very day. For Art Twink, art is for creating community and safety in a world that offers very little of either. After 6 years of working in graphic apparel design they now illustrate for children’s books such as My Rainbow by DeShanna Neal and Trinity Neal and are currently working on My Paati’s Saris by Jyoti Rajan Gopal. They carry on the tradition of telling stories that inspire, validate, and comfort people and creatures in hard times as a trans artist of color.
Wimym Andrea Liu Ye is an artist based in the L.A. area working on paintings and sculptures.Her experiences as a Chinese-Ecuadorian immigrant has led her on a journey of self-exploration (at times identity crisis), immense pride, and self-love. As such, Wimym’s art evokes her experience of living under this concoction of perspectives, intertwining different art styles, colors, and patterns into bold and saturated visuals. Her art reflects a day-to-day life that seems dislocated yet functions as a complete and natural organism.
Eunsoo is the founder of the comic Koreangry and a former DACA recipient who immigrated from SouthKorea at the age of 13. She has worked as a color stylist on popular kids shows like Nickelodeon’s Pinky Malinky and DreamWorks TV’s Archibald’s Next Big Thing. Through Koreangry she seeks to dispel harmful narratives about Asian immigrants and women and explores and critiques South Korean history and pop culture within the U.S.
O.K. So, you’ve read through the stories and feasted your eyes on the artful accompaniments of our first-ever Zine! Now let us know what you thought in our guestbook!
Leave us a comment sharing the one line from a poem that just hit different and got to you. Let us know of the colors in a drawing that reminded you of the cobalt blue cookie tins filled with sewing supplies or vibrant oranges of marigolds on your family’s altar. Did it inspire you to write your very own haiku or essay? Pretty please bless our guestbook with it.
This zine is for you. It was made by immigrants for immigrants. We hope that in these pages you’ll see a bit of yourself and what brings us together. For far too long, our experience as immigrants has been defined by our shared pain, shared struggle and complicated experience of moving from one nation to another. And while yes, being an immigrant is very much about leaving behind a version of what the future could have been, it is also about a new future.
I would like to propose that “immigrant” is a lot more than just a word. It is a culture. There is a lot more to our identity and our culture as immigrants than our pain. Our culture is rich and although we are of many different races and ethnicities, come from and live in various places, there’s so much more that ties us together. As immigrants, we are creators, consumers and critics of culture. We are visionaries. We ventured to see a new future where there seemed to be only one path before.
The name of the zine is meant to honor you, the immigrant. It also honors all the family and loved ones who have been made into the person they are thanks to an immigrant. It honors all of us who are“Immigrant Made” in one way or another.
To be an immigrant is to know our worth, to be proud of the color of our skin, our accents, our hair, our languages, our relationship to land and most of all: our ability to summon a future that has not yet been seen.
I invite you to join the writers and artists who have made this zine possible in our collective efforts to redefine what immigrant culture is. We all have a role to play in taking and preserving what is rightfully ours – our culture – and defining who we are as immigrants.
It’s up to all of us to imagine and create a joyous and liberated world: undocumented people, DACA-recipients, TPS-recipients, refugees, documented immigrants, children of immigrants, grandchildren of immigrants and our loved ones. That’s why at United We Dream (UWD) we are committed to empower-ing, organizing, and supporting the next wave of immigrant storytellers, writers and artists from our vast, multi-racial community.
For over a decade we at UWD have disrupted the public’s expectations of what it means to be an immigrant. We have told a new story about who we are on our own terms, while fighting for the dignity all human beings deserve.
For years our Writers Room program has connected immigrant youth writers with professional mentors at the Writers Guild Initiative, where they have honed their cra as creative and authentic storytellers. Now comes the next step to develop our own platforms, like this zine, to allow our stories to be told in the way we wish for them to be told, a space that is all our own.
We were inspired by collaborative zines like La Horchata Zine, curated by young immigrant women to celebrate Central American cultures, and Gidra, started in 1969 by Japanese- and Asian-American you that UCLA and nationwide to defy anti-Asian narratives and build a new collective identity.
A huge thank you to all of our UWD staff, youth writers and artists for their collective efforts to make this zine a reality. We would also like to thank the Writers Guild Initiative and their cohort of professional writing mentors: Richard Dresser, Jenna Jackson, Chiara Montalto-Giannini, Alaudin Ullah, Colleen Werthmann, James Anthony Tyler, Jorge Corona, Mel Nieves, Pam Katz, Ren Dara Santiago, StephenRuddy, Susanna Styron and Craig “Mums” Grant, may he Rest In Peace. Thank you for believing in our writers and supporting their truths and their dreams with tenderness and care.
Our community is hungry for more stories that are reflective of our own. We are the writers, artists and heroes that we have been waiting for. We know joy, pride, love, anger, sadness and delight. We are immigrants and our culture is power!
– Juanita A. Monsalve
Immigrant Made, Producer & Director, United We Dream, Senior Creative & Marketing Director
The self-love and storytelling — it don’t stop! We just launched our very first, self-published Zine made entirely for and by immigrants.
Our communities are just so artful and abundant that we’re publishing a second volume, and bringing even more of our stories and voices to the forefront. If ‘Immigrant Made’ Vol. 1 made you smile and pulled at your heart strings, just imagine what Vol. 2. will do.
Sign up now to get notified when Vol. 2 of this incredible feat of community-building, affirmation, and protest is ready!
Download and indulge in this labor of love that is deeply rooted in community-building, affirmation, and protest. The zine’s words and brush strokes on each and every page are dripping with self-love, self-worth, and pride.
Sign up here to get your free PDF copy! You won’t wanna miss this!
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