Flowers on the Inside
Flowers on the Inside is a project of:
Thank you so much for participating in this project. We received over 2,700 messages from around the country!
The cards will be printed and distributed by Casa Arcoíris, a Tijuana-based organization that brings together community members to write letters to detainees in U.S. detention camps, in addition to providing shelter, food, and services to LGBTQ+ people as they migrate.
Flowers on the Inside is a project imagined by undocumented artists, featuring undocumented artists. We hope this art will reach through the walls that divide us and inspire hope and connection.
While we’ve closed down the message feature through the website, if you would like to organize a postcard writing party in your area, please get in touch with Julio Salgado at email@example.com to receive blank postcards.
Flowers on the Inside is a project imagined by undocumented artists, featuring undocumented artists, that provides a counter narrative to the cruel images we are bombarded with in the media.
From deplorable conditions inside detention camps, devastating ICE raids, an uncertain future for DACA, the shooting targeting immigrants in El Paso, and the circulation of a heartbreaking photo of Oscar Alberto Martinez and his daughter Valeria washed up on the Rio Grande shore, recent stories and images have reinforced a constant state of fear, pain, and degradation for undocumented communities and families.
Flowers on the Inside uplifts a narrative that inspires hope and connection, recognizes our humanity, and centers compassion.
Our purpose is two-fold: to ensure that people inside detention know that there are undocumented people and allies on the outside who are in solidarity with them, and to provide an outlet for those on the outside to reach through the walls that divide us.
Through the website, folks were able to write a message of love, support, and solidarity to someone currently in immigration detention. The cards were printed and distributed by Casa Arcoiris, a Tijuana-based organization that brings together community members to write letters to detainees in U.S. detention camps, in addition to providing shelter, food, and services to LGBTQ+ people as they migrate.
While we’ve closed down the message feature through the website, if you would like to organize a postcard writing party in your area, you can download and print the images via the website or get in touch with Julio Salgado at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive blank postcards.
The Center for Cultural Power (previously CultureStrike) is an artist-led organization building the infrastructure and cultural assets needed to support artists and storytellers for social change. It activates new narratives and amplify stories that permanently shift culture and push for structural change. Their work resides at the intersection of urgent issues of migration, climate chaos, and gender, racial and cultural justice.
Casa Arcoíris is a grassroots organization based in the border city of Tijuana to provide dignified shelter, food, and basic services to migrating LGBTQ+ populations. It is made up of activists based in Tijuana who also belong to other organizations and collectives that support the LGBT+ community and displaced/vulnerable people.
Forward Together transforms culture and policy to work for everyone nationwide. Since its founding in 1989, Forward Together has continually fought to dismantle the ways that society marginalizes people based on race, sexuality, and gender. Today they build courage and foster connection among a multi-racial community of changemakers to secure the rights, recognition, and resources all families need to thrive.
Maria HW is an undocumented queer Asian Pacific Islander artist from Mexico who has emboldened her leadership within the immigrant rights movement and used art as a tool to create a vision of liberation for her community. To see more of Maria’s work, visit her website at mariahwdesign.wixsite.com/portfolio.
Brian Herrera is a queer, undocumented immigrant and graphic artivist. He was born in Veracruz, Mexico and raised on the West Side of Chicago. His passion is to uplift the voices of queer POC communities through various forms of illustration, print media and marketing. His latest project focuses on giving a platform to other undocumented artists in the US. He was recently nominated as a fellow for Define American’s First Undocumented Artist fellowship. Organizations & clients he has worked with include National Museum of Mexican Art, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, Illinois Humanities Council, Free Street Theater and Redbull. To see more of Brian’s work, visit his website at attitudeseven.com.
Karla Daniela Rosas is a self-taught visual artist and “undocumented immigrant” originally from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Karla grew up in the Gulf South and currently lives in New Orleans. Karla considers herself a story-teller first and foremost. Tired of media tropes of helpless and passive immigrant mothers, Karla uses her art to tell stories about migrant women that she wants to hear — stories about being powerful, young, defiant, sexual, angry, joyous…and sometimes petty. Karla works with a mixture of digital illustration tools as well as traditional inks, markers, acrylic, and gouache. Her work incorporates a wide range of influences including Afro/Aztec futurism, sci-fi, pop-punk aesthetics, Aztec cosmology and art, Mexican Catholicism, and pop culture. To see more of Karla’s work, visit her website at maricosas.com.
Emulsify is a queer femme, healer, artist, organizer, and full spectrum doula. Under the name Emulsify, they are navigating their identity as an artist through awkward exploration of what it means to call a place “home.” From Ibarra, Ecuador, M grew up undocumented in New York and has spent a lot of time thinking about how the only place they can call home is within themselves. M’s art explores feelings around being undocumented, queerness, depression, trauma, representation, gender, social justice, bodies and how these thoughts inform their artistic practice. Through art, they hope to create alternate universes where we are held and seen in all the ways we want to be. M has organized and participated in several shows in New York. To learn more about M’s work and journey please visit emulsify.art.
Julio Salgado is the co-founder of DreamersAdrift.com and the Migrant Storytelling in Pop Culture Manager at The Center For Cultural Power (formerly known as CultureStrike). His status as an undocumented, queer artivist has fueled the contents of his visual art, which depict key individuals and moments of the DREAM Act and migrant rights movement. Undocumented students and allies across the country have used Salgado’s artwork to call attention to the migrant youth-led movement. To see more of Julio’s work, please visit juliosalgadoart.com.