I drew the train because I have seen that many times people suffer because of migration: People jump on trains and they take their small children and because of that many times they die. Sometimes the train can crash. When I grow older I do not want to be a migrant anymore.
–Cecilia, 9, Mexico
I don’t know about you, but sometimes reality smacks into my blind spots so hard it robs me of my breath. I’m running between my often intertwined personal and professional lives keeping the domestic funny carts on the track and amassing the statistics and the policy analyses to show how promising or how horrific something in the public sphere is.
And then people—the fragile, splendid, surprising people this was all supposedly about—interpose themselves. I realize over and over that I may have described the contours of their struggles, but I haven’t given them voice or their stories texture.
Sunday afternoon I was in New York getting ready for a retreat with colleagues. There’s a Latinx art museum on the very northeastern corner of Central Park I’ve always wanted to go to, Museo del Barrio, and I actually had the time.
I thought I had exhausted the serious art when I came around a corner and there, in the nearly immeasurable instant it takes for a heart to contract, was a small hallway exhibit on U.S. immigration and deportation as seen from the eyes of children. Photos and drawings and quotes, arranged thematically. Continue reading