Praxis of Resilience & Resistance: “We can STOP Donald Trump” and Other Messages from Immigrant Children

Silvia Rodriguez Vega

Abstract


In 2018 there have been constant anti-immigrant rhetoric, policies, and enforcement. Most recently, Trump referred to immigrant children as “future criminals” who needed to be kept in prison-like detention centers and “tender age facilities” (Min Kim, 2018). Meanwhile, the 4.5 million children of immigrants already in the US continue to face possibilities of family separation due to this enforcement-focused political system (Suárez-Orozco et al., 2015). The goal of this article is to provide insight into the lives of one of the most vulnerable and fastest growing populations in the U.S.—immigrant children. As a researcher and educator, I developed an art-centered methodological and pedagogical tool that can serve those working with immigrant children and vulnerable populations. Over a two-year period, I used artistic tools such as drawings, storyboards, Teatro Campesino’s actos, and various techniques from Theater of the Oppressed (Boal, 2000) to work with children of immigrants in a sixth-grade class of English Language Learners (ELL) in Los Angeles. Through educational, artistic, and anecdotal components of their work, these children created a world where they could resist and fight Trump and share that victory by utilizing the transformative imaginary of art.

Keywords


Immigrant Children, Art, Resistance, Trump, Activism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24974/amae.12.3.409

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