Philly photographer Ada Trillo presents photos of migrant experience at UArts - Generocity Philly

Purpose

Apr. 8, 2019 7:18 am

Philly photographer Ada Trillo presents photos of migrant experience at UArts

A panel of immigrants and immigrant rights advocates opened the exhibition, which will run through April 25.

"Laura and her daughter," one of the photos of migrants on the border by Philly photographer Ada Trillo.

(Courtesy photo)

Correction: The spelling of Kirstjen Nielsen's name has been corrected. (9:47 a.m. 4/8/19)
Amid notice of Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and the ongoing debate about a proposed border wall, Philadelphia-based photographer Ada Trillo presents art that reflects what she knows to be true about what is happening at our southern border.

“I know for a fact that many of the immigrants who are coming through now are very good people who are leaving violence behind,” she said. “I wanted to show why people come to the United States and what their light at the end of the tunnel is.”

The panel of speakers at Ada Trillo’s exhibit opening at University Arts April 5. (Photo by Alyssa Biederman)

Trillo is showcasing photos she took of the migrant caravan at the University of the Arts. After traveling almost two thousand miles through Mexico on “la bestia,” (“the beast,” the train many migrants cling to perilously during their crossing),, she opened the exhibit on April 5 with a panel of migrant-rights activists and artists, including Cristina Martinez-Guerrero from South Philly Barbacoa, journalist Sam Slovick and Mark Lane, the CEO of Minority Humanitarian Foundation.

From our Partners

"I know for a fact that many of the immigrants who are coming through now are very good people who are leaving violence behind."
Ada Trillo

Lane talked about a 15-year-old with down syndrome named Javi, who is featured in one of Trillo’s photos and Leslie, a 7-year-old with cerebral palsy who met Trillo and Lane after her father pushed her from Honduras to Mexico in a stroller.

“Javi was very sick but his mother was even sicker. She was vomiting blood and Javi was putting vapor rub under her nose and caressing her,” Lane said. “Leslie was sleeping in the open on the floor. They didn’t have a tent. Her father was told along the way to just leave her at a hospital because she was going to die anyway.”

The audience at UArts watching documentation of the situation for migrants at the border. (Photo by Alyssa Biederman)

Lane’s organization, which provides housing, education, and legal representation for immigrants, brought Leslie and Javi into the United States. Neither child had been to school before, but now both are enrolled and living with host families.

Ashley, a trans-queer immigrant from Mexico, was ostracized in her home country.

“I can’t find jobs over there because they say ‘who do you think you are?’ I’m a person,” she said. “A person with feelings and dreams to come true.”

"We are all one humanity."
Crisina Martinez-Guerrero

Ashley, who came to the United States with help from Lane’s foundation, asked that everyone step back from the politics and see migrants as people rather than a threat.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to live life with dignity,” she said. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like. The point of the world is love and happiness and we should help each other be who they are.”

Martinez-Guerrero is an undocumented immigrant who advocates for immigrant rights through her award-winning barbacoa restaurant in South Philly. She said that art in any form, like Trillo’s photography, Slovick’s journalism and her cooking should be used to bring awareness to the struggles of migrants.

“We are all one humanity. This problem is not going to stop any time soon, but we need to start acting because it’s hurting a lot of people,” she said while brushing away tears. “Love is all we have when the world ends. In the end, we are just dust.”

Trillo’s Chasing Freedom: Portraits of the Migrant Caravan will be presented in the lobby of University of the Arts’ Gershman Hall  until April 25.

-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

From our Partners

On the Market: 14 job openings across the nonprofit sector

Our 2020 holiday gift guide takes you on a jaunt around Philly

Power Moves: Jessica West will lead Neighborhood Bike Works

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

During Tech in Action Day, all the participants teach and learn

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Youth Network, Inc

Grants Manager

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Urban Affairs Coalition

Full and Part-time Residential Aide Positions

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Pennsylvania Humanities Council

Education Program Officer

Apply Now

Graphic explainer: A cartoonist unpacks the 2020 census

How we use participatory, community budgeting in our emergency shelter

Today is #GivingTuesday! Here are 60 local nonprofit campaigns for you to support

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

ECS has been tackling Philly’s social issues for nearly 150 years. Now, its new focus is intergenerational poverty

Philadelphia, PA

Mazzoni Center

Director of Information Technology and Operations

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Mazzoni Center

Information Technology Manager

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Healthcare Improvement Foundation

President

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity