Todos Dignos is a portrait/storytelling project dignifying and celebrating undocumented immigrants and their contributions to our Flagstaff community and greater American society. This project is being created with the belief that creating pathways of connection to those who have been denied a platform to share their human stories, can cultivate empathy and spark action towards positive change in policy. We also hope to confront false narratives surrounding immigrants and migrants, in this time of the ‘otherness’ rhetoric, to aid in a more informed and cohesive community.
Each subject shares parts of their identity through objects that they chose to represent their contributions to our community and greater American society. The portraits show the subjects emerging from the shadows where they have been pushed by previous and current immigration policies. Many of the subjects were brought over as children or have been here waiting for their papers to be processed for decades.
The subjects share their stories through transcribed interviews about their lives, challenges and hopes for the future. The text accompanying the interviews are direct excerpts from the interviews and are displayed as if you were talking to someone in an intimate setting, in the style of conversation. The subjects have not been granted the ability to freely tell their stories in our society, so we are grateful to have this platform to share and create connection to the ones that our society has labeled ‘other’ and have minimized rights to work, education, travel, and speech.
The subjects of Todos Dignos risked their identities, but entrusted us to bring their stories out of the shadows with hopes of connecting to others in our community, greater society, and those who vote so that there can be potential humanistic changes to our current immigration laws.
Visit images below to connect to these personal stories in Spanish and English.
Vanessa Savel contributed efforts of community relationship building, compiling, transcribing, and translating to Todos Dignos. She hopes the excerpts will demonstrate that the voices of migrants themselves are critical in the conversation of immigration.
© Amy S. Martin Photography