“Mojados” immigrant photo exhibit opens at CWE

Immigrant inclusion is one of the biggest human rights challenges facing countries across the globe. The City College Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education tackles this issue with the photo exhibit “Mojados: Portrait of Immigrants.” It opens Oct. 27 and runs through Dec. 20.

The opening day includes a reception at 6 p.m. at 25 Broadway on the 7th floor. A conversation between photographer and exhibit creator Francisco Uceda, CWE human rights expert and Patai Postdoctoral Fellow Danielle A. Zach, and Susanna Rosenbaum, director of CWE’s MA Program in the Study of the Americas, follows.

“This is an extraordinary exhibition, not only from an artistic point of view but also because immigration has become a human tragedy that requires urgent response,” said CWE Dean Juan Carlos Mercado.

The exhibit’s name, “Mojados,”stems from the derogatory slur “wetback.” Uceda uses photography as a powerful medium to raise consciousness and protest injustice. With his “Mojados” exhibit, Uceda does just that by vividly capturing the humanity of immigrants that racist and xenophobic assaults aim to deny them.

Uceda’s portraits fit into a tradition of portraiture that may date back to Robert Frank’s work in the slums of Detroit, where he exposed the rest of America to an obscure part of the heartland.

“On both sides of the Atlantic, immigrants and refugees have been the target of attack by publics fueled by racism and xenophobia,” said Zach. “In the United States, there has been a discernable upswing in anti-immigrant discourse, which dehumanizes and misrepresents these vulnerable communities. Such attitudes are manifest not only at the grassroots level but also among public officials who have reinforced negative sentiment with nativist policies.”

“Mojados” is open to the public Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, please visit: franciscouceda.com.

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